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Yellow Discharge After Birth: What Does it Mean and Should I be Worried?

Yellow Discharge After Birth: What Does it Mean and Should I be Worried?

After childbirth and delivery, women tend to experience specific changes that can seem weird at first. One of these changes is with discharge, which is very typical and nothing to worry about. Is yellow discharge after birth normal?

Yes, very much so. This is called lochia, the discharge you get after vaginal delivery. Lochia is very similar to menstrual discharge. It will start off dark red in color. Over the next few days, it will turn pinkish to brownish. Around the 14th day, you will get a creamy yellow discharge.

Bleeding After Childbirth: What’s Normal?

You might be thinking bright red discharge with blood clots might be scary, but it is very normal! All you will generally need with this is hospital-grade pads. But after a few weeks, you may be able to wear regular ones. Just remember the cause of heavier bleeding is movement, so you might want to rest more than recommended.

Lochia is like a period, because the bleeding is generally caused by your uterine lining shedding and restoring itself. It will be 70% blood. But as days pass by, you’ll see lighter, creamier shades as the blood will slowly be replaced with mucus.

When you should be concerned is the moment the bleeding gets too heavy to manage, and the discharge’s scent is incredibly foul. This could indicate an infection. Fevers, dizziness, and irregular heartbeats might also show up, and once you see those – it’s time to consult your doctor.

Possible Causes of Abnormal Discharge

When heavy bleeding occurs, more than the expected and normal amount, it is usually referred to as postpartum hemorrhage. The continued blood loss can happen either through vaginal deliveries or caesarian deliveries. Some of the leading causes of abnormal lochia are:

  • Uterine rupture
  • Uterine inversion
  • Too much movement and stress
  • Retained placentas
  • Uterine atony
  • Have birthed several children before

Ultimately, you may not have to worry unless you have any of the above or if you’ve done strenuous activities right after the weeks following delivery. If you do not have yellow discharge after birth, you might need to be concerned, especially if bleeding persists.

You should seek medical help immediately if you may be worried. The earliest action can be extremely helpful in cases like this.

How you can be helped

There are many treatments for postpartum hemorrhage, but one of the main things that should be figured out first is the exact cause as to why you are experiencing abnormal levels of discharge. Generally, doctors can help you in ways such as:

  • Prescribe medicine that can help uterine contraction
  • Remove placenta pieces in your uterus
  • Provide blood transfusion
  • Perform a laparotomy

Final Reminders

Having a baby is one of the most significant yet fulfilling changes and developments a woman could ever go through.

After birth, you should always give yourself time to adjust and do not pressure yourself to begin working again right after giving birth or doing extensive and tiring activities immediately. It is always advised to reach out to doctors, family, and friends if you need help.

Learn more about Postpartum Self Care here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Postnatal Discharge Information, https://mft.nhs.uk/app/uploads/sites/4/2018/04/Postnatal-Discharge-Information-June-2017-N.pdf Accessed March 15, 2021

Postpartum Discharge Instructions, https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/howard_county_general_hospital/services/mothers_and_babies/taking_baby_home/postpartum-discharge-instructions.html Accessed March 15, 2021

Western approach to the postpartum, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780702030550000030 Accessed March 15, 2021

Characteristics of normal lochia, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10772198/ Accessed March 15, 2021

Labor and delivery, postpartum care, https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/labor-and-delivery/in-depth/postpartum-care/art-20047233 Accessed March 15, 2021

Pregnancy: Physical Changes After Delivery, https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/9682-pregnancy-physical-changes-after-delivery Accessed March 15, 2021

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Medically reviewed by Hello Doctor Medical Panel
Written by Kirsten Rocamora
Updated 5 days ago
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