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Pregnancy

Length of time of bleeding after delivery

08/26/1998

Question:

How long is it normal to bleed for after a normal vaginal delivery? I am 38 and continue to have bright red bleeding (although not heavy) and it is 9 weeks after I delivered. I am breastfeeding and not supplementing at all. Thanks.

Answer:

The length of time varies for every woman. The average is somewhere between 8-12 weeks. It takes at least 7 weeks just for the uterus to return to normal size. Once that is achieved, some women start menstruating (even those who are breastfeeding although it is less likely). Other causes for prolonged bleeding can be infection of the lining of the uterus, an injury or tear that has failed to heal, or a piece of the placenta that has been retained in the uterus. Your caregiver can examine you to determine if your bleeding is abnormal and deserves futher investigation.

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Response by:

Thomas  A deHoop, MD Thomas A deHoop, MD
Formerly Associate Professor of Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology
Director, Medical Student Education
No longer associated