Bleeding heavily at five weeks postpartum

I had a baby five weeks ago and never completely stopped bleeding. I am now bleeding heavily, needing to change a super plus tampon at least every hour. Is this normal?

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Peg Plumbo CNM

Peg Plumbo has been a certified nurse-midwife (CNM) since 1976. She has assisted at over 1,000 births and currently teaches in the... Read more

At five or more weeks postpartum, it is unusual to bleed that heavily. A normal period would not be this heavy, even the first one after the delivery. Most practitioners follow the general guideline that if the woman is soaking a pad or tampon every hour for more than four hours, she should be seen.

The placental implantation site should be well-healed by five weeks unless there was some infectious process or retained products of conception. Rarely, when women become pregnant again very soon after childbirth, they may miscarry and bleed heavily.

I would recommend that any woman who has this pattern of bleeding be seen in the emergency room or clinic as soon as possible. Perhaps there are placental fragments which have become dislodged. Medication can be given which will stimulate the uterus to contract and empty. A D&C may also have to be performed if blood loss is heavy.

I wish you the best with this and hope you can get care very soon.

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