Lochiations: postpartum vaginal discharge

Lochiations are vaginal discharge that normally occurs after childbirth and completely physiological if not too abundant.

Lochiations are a physiological event that occurs immediately after delivery and lasts in the first weeks of the puerperium. Lochies consist of vaginal discharge formed by tissue, placental residues, fetal fluid and blood caused by placental abruption.

Initially the leaks are dark red, very abundant, dense and with lumps. Then they switch to a dark color, gray until they become transparent. These leaks must always be odorless.

If the leaks intensify, smell and itch then consult your midwife immediately for a check because there may be an infection.

The leases last several weeks, this is because the entire lining of the uterine wall must come off slowly and in the meantime a new coating must form.


  • Blood loss for 2-3 days after childbirth
  • Sero-blood loss from the third to the eighth day
  • Serous losses from the eighth to the fifteenth day
  • Creamy leaks from the fifteenth day onwards.

Obviously this scheme can change from person to person.

During these 20-25 days of rentals there may be minor inconveniences such as redness of the skin, dermatitis and itching.

What you can do is use hypoallergenic, cotton or washable pads.

Protect the skin with a calendula or Tea Tree Oil paste or ointment. Do not wear tampons or menstrual cup.

Problems of lochiations

Consult a midwife or doctor if:

  • There is an increase in body temperature above 38°C
  • Leaks take on a decidedly unpleasant smell
  • Losses do not change and do not begin to decrease
  • Pains in the lower abdomen that continue after the first week.

The duration of the locations changes if the mother breastfeeds because oxytocin increases the contractions of the body of the uterus and therefore favors the expulsion of blood and changes if the mother has undergone a caesarean section because during the operation itself, after the extraction of the placenta, a good part of the residual tissues of the uterine mucosa are removed. The head of delivery, that is, the return of the first menstrual cycle after childbirth, can be back even after about a month and a half when the woman is not breastfeeding.

It is possible in many cases that even having breastfeeding rhythms during the day every 4 hours maximum and at night that it does not exceed 6 hours that this may occur. Some women even up to 2 years may not have a period. It all depends on the level of the hormone prolactin.

Be careful because ovulation can return even earlier and therefore if you have unprotected intercourse there is the risk of an unwanted pregnancy. Ask your midwife which contraceptive is right for you.

Don’t worry if your period returns while you are breastfeeding as this does not change the taste of the milk and has no effect on the baby.

Natural remedies

In the book by Ibu Robin Lim “After the birth of the baby” there is a very special herbal tea and it is recommended to drink it in the first 4 days immediately after delivery, at any time you are thirsty so both day and night. The herbal tea is prepared in this way: Put these dried plants in 4 liters of water, and then bring to a boil: elonia dioica, licorice root, shepherd bag, raspberry leaves. Infuse for at least 15 minutes. If you can not find the plants in herbal medicine then you can take the mother tincture of each of these plants but the ideal is always to have fresh leaves. This herbal tea has a toning action on the uterus so it helps in the control of bleeding, facilitates evacuation, promotes milk whipping and a relief in uterine contractions.

Postpartum sexual intercourse

“When can I go back to having sex?”

We all know that the resumption of sexual activity after childbirth is not really that easy both physically and psychologically and it is good to wait at least a period of about 2 or 3 weeks or to have carried out the 40 day check-up. This is to make sure that the uterus has returned to its original size and there is no infection.

It may be useful for the woman to use products that increase the lubrication of the mucous membranes such as calendula ovules (one ovule in the evening before going to bed every other day until the softness of the mucous membranes is restored) or you can make douches with Calendula mother tincture (30 drops in half a liter of boiled water, let it cool and wash) and finally, before and after sexual intercourse, apply a calendula ointment or gel.

Calendula is a plant that provides re-epithelialization of the mucous membranes, is anti-inflammatory and eutrophic.

Kathryn Barlow is an OB/GYN doctor, which is the medical specialty that deals with the care of women's reproductive health, including pregnancy and childbirth.

Obstetricians provide care to women during pregnancy, labor, and delivery, while gynecologists focus on the health of the female reproductive system, including the ovaries, uterus, vagina, and breasts. OB/GYN doctors are trained to provide medical and surgical care for a wide range of conditions related to women's reproductive health.

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