Mommies, the triumph of giving birth is a strenuous struggle. Delivery does not stop there; you will need to heal.
While healing, you will experience what the medical experts call “lochia”. Lochia is the discharge that the body produces after giving birth. It is composed of blood, mucus, and tissues, even white blood cells.
As you heal mommies, bleeding is very inconvenient, and you do not want it to be always icky, so you need to put on maternity pads and use them on a daily basis after delivery.
While you are suggested to use maternity or postpartum pads, how should you use it?
Asking about how to utilize a maternity pad, let’s divide this simple guide into the following questions that you may want to ask:
- What is postpartum bleeding?
- What is the use of maternity pads?
- How to choose maternity pads?
Postpartum bleeding and its process
After the long hours of labor, your next few weeks mommy will also be a struggle for you. Postpartum bleeding or after-delivery bleeding is a process of healing.
The heaviest blood flow, according to medical experts, will occur in the first two weeks after giving childbirth.
Like menstruation, postpartum bleeding is caused by the restoration and shedding of your uterus lining. However, if it occurs to you that you are overusing maternity pads every day, it is not normal and you should seek help from your doctor.
In the first weeks of heavy flow, it will be mostly blood. After a few weeks, it will be gooey and sticky because of mucus.
For those mommies who are expecting childbirth in a month or so, I think you will ask about What could be the difference between a cesarean and vaginal delivery on having postpartum bleeding?
The differences may include coloration of the discharge, smell, and also in terms of the heaviness of flow.
Bleeding after vaginal delivery
After one to three days of vaginal delivery, you will notice that your blood discharge looks bright or dark red.
You may smell it like your monthly menstruation. Blood flow will sometimes include a “grape or prune” size of blood clots during bleeding.
Between four to seven days, the bleeding should be colored pinkish to brownish. Clots must shrink in size until they disappear.
As week 1 ends after delivery, the discharge should be yellow or white in color. After three to six weeks, bleeding should cease. If not, you should call your doctor.
Cesarian or c-section post-delivery bleeding
A cesarian or c-section delivery should worry less about lochia than having a vaginal delivery. Yet, there will still be bleeding. Like bleeding after vaginal birth, blood should change in color from red to brown to yellow to clear until it ceases.
Knowing these varying situations be it after vaginal delivery or cesarian delivery, mommies, you should what must be prepared. You will need maternity pads.
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When should you seek a doctor for postpartum bleeding?
You must find a doctor when you happened to notice the following symptoms:
- Temperature above 38 degrees Celcius
- Heavier than usual bleeding
- Severe abdominal pain
- Vaginal leakage with an unpleasant and unusual smell
- Larger and more frequent noticeable clots
- Increased swelling
- Breasts that are sore, red, or hot when touched
- Irregularity of heartbeat rate
- Dizziness or feeling faint
These unexpected symptoms may be a cause of infection. Rare cases occur with some mommies having postpartum hemorrhage after delivery. These rare cases need extra care.
While reading about the severe cases, remember mommies that there will be times that a sudden change in the heaviness of blood flow happens when:
It may happen because of inappropriate and unsupportive quality of pads. Also because of the gravitational pull when you stand.
During breastfeeding, the body releases hormones like oxytocin. Oxytocin production in the body helps in accelerating the healing process of any damage in tissues, including the postpartum vaginal wounds.
Doing exercise routines for moms after birth
Buying a not suitable maternity pad without flexible quality could be a disaster for mommies doing their routines.
Straining when pooping and/or urinating
When pooping and urinating, you may tend to strain your muscles which can affect the blood flow to be pushed harder because of applied pressure.
It is still recommended that you go see your doctor check on your postpartum stature.
Using maternity pads
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Maternity pads resolve the struggling situation of moms after childbirth in regards to bleeding. Special maternity pads can help absorb heavier blood flow during postpartum bleeding.
These pads will keep you comfortable and safe from a disastrous leakage of blood. Compared to a regular sanitary pad, maternity pads were made with thicker and more absorbent materials to hold more fluid.
The pads may look bigger and lengthier at the back than ordinary pads. They also have wings for a more safe and secured bleeding.
Most postpartum pads, even in different brand names, were made with soft materials offering cushioned feeling. This feeling of comfort is helpful because you may have stitches, and have postpartum perineal pain.
Even in general pain and discomfort, this comfortable feeling provided by postpartum pads is helpful.
Best Maternity Pads: Top 6 recommended maternity pads in the Philippines! Essentials you need postpartum!
What is postpartum bleeding or Lochia and is it normal?
Mom’s guide on how to care for your postpartum wound – vaginal or cesarean delivery
Can I use tampons and/or menstrual cups during postpartum bleeding?
Mommies, these postpartum pads are specialized for your postpartum bleeding. That is why it is safer than using tampons or menstrual cups.
After delivery, you still have cuts and tears in and around your vagina that may cause the severity of pain if you use cups and tampons.
Optional use of postpartum pads could be even before your delivery. During travels or before your water breaks to prevent leaks, these pads are very helpful.
What do mommies need to look for a maternity pad?
Being in a postpartum bleeding state is very uncomfortable and heavy in feeling. To be secured while caring for your baby and slowly healing, you need maternity pads that can resolve uncomfortable feelings and heaviness.
Image from Shutterstock
Let’s list down the few things you need to look for in maternity pads:
Soft and gentle postpartum pads are a must to protect your skin from the rash. Soreness and sensitivity on vaginal skin are inevitable after birth.
Breathable postpartum pads should be used that can allow circulation in your vagina. A drier vaginal area can prevent infectious disease and can induce a better healing process.
Maternity pads are made more absorbent for the heavier blood flow of postpartum bleeding. Hence, you still need to change pads regularly.
The flexibility of maternity pads is necessary because you can find yourself being hands-on with different chores even if you are still healing. Pads were produced flexible to sustain your movements while walking, sitting, lying down, and many more.
Varying changes happen to your body after giving birth. Supportive postpartum pads can provide the support that will make you feel secure. Support pads also assist in reducing leaks when doing some movements that are necessary for you.
You can prepare your maternity pads before or after your delivery. Yet it is recommended to purchase before giving birth so that you will be ready for postpartum bleeding.
In the Philippines, there are many brands of maternity pads available for Filipino mommies to choose from according to what quality they look for. Maternity pads can cost around Php 95 to Php 200 pesos depending on the piece per pack. You can buy it online and at different drugstores
But for the preparation for the delivery and post-delivery, how many pads are necessary for mommies to use?
According to Lil-Lets UK, three to four packs of 10 are necessary before giving birth. When your water breaks or when you feel that it will come, you may seek assistance from the hospital nurse to put on a maternity pad or when you are still at home.
After the delivery, you will experience postpartum bleeding with a heavy, continuous flow that is needed for you to change in a matter of 1-2 hours.
Mommies, you will stop using maternity pads when the 6-week duration of the healing process ends. It depends on how quick your healing is.
But as we said before, if bleeding persists after week 6 of postpartum bleeding, better to call your doctor.
Other matters on the use of maternity pads
It is still a reminder for mommies having postpartum bleeding to dispose of their pads properly. Wrap your used pads in tissue papers or in any available stuff to wrap your pads in. Throw it in the garbage can and do not flush it in the toilet.
Postpartum bleeding is normal for mommies that gave birth. It is the evidence of you, as mothers, that you bore a life. This beautiful struggle needs time for healing. And as you heal, suit yourselves up by using appropriate, budget-friendly, comfortable, and quality maternity pads.