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Blood, Sweat and Tears

Updated: Oct 9, 2023

Postpartum Bleeding - the what, why and what to do

So you’ve been celebrating 9 months of no menstrual cycle only to then feel like the whole nine months worth of menstrual blood is seeping out of you body. Combined with hormonal imbalances and you’ve got a hot, sweaty (probably smelly) mess of a mama and we feel absolutely yucky about it!!!

But modern advances have come to save the day (a little). I can’t make the uterus cramps and bleeding go away but I can explain what is happening and what you can do to make these couple of weeks more bearable.

This article is a quick summary answering some of the most commonly asked questions about postpartum bleeding. But please note (IMPORTANT) this is only a general guide. It is not intended as medical advice for your individual circumstances. Always seek further advice from your health care provider if you are worried or need more specific information.

If you already know the what and the why; and would like to skip to my review of the @fermatasg Eve Organic Period Pants then please skip below here.


Vaginal bleeding is normal after birth. The official name for it is “lochia” and it occurs whether you have a vaginal birth or a caesarean section birth.


It happens because when you were pregnant there are blood vessels that run between your uterus and placenta. After birth the placenta comes away from the wall of the uterus and these blood vessels are now open, and they bleed until they heal fully. Oxytocin continues to be released in your body, due to lactation, and stimulates the uterine muscles to contract and also increases production of prostaglandins, which increase the contractions further. Your uterus is basically contracting to squeeze the bleeding vessels shut. Over 7–10 days your uterus continues to contract and the blood vessels begin to heal and bleed less.


In the first 1–2 days you may soak up to one sanitary pad each hour and the blood will be bright red. Over several days, the bleeding will slowly get less each day and change colour from bright red to a pink or brown colour and then to a creamy colour. Most women will stop bleeding between four and six weeks after giving birth. Some women may bleed for longer or shorter than this.

You may have heavier bleeding:

• in the morning when you get up

• after breastfeeding

• after exercising

Passing blood clots is also common after having a baby. Maybe even the size of a good ball in the first day but getting smaller as the days go on.

What can you do?

Day 1-3

  • Recommend wearing adult diapers or a maternity pad

  • Empty your bladder frequently (passing urine)

  • Use a gentle water spray to feel confidently clean

  • Feel for the top of your uterus to understand your body better. The top of your uterus (the fundus) can be felt around the level of your belly button. It will feel a bit like a grapefruit in size and texture. As your uterus contracts, it will slowly decrease in size and be felt lower down on your abdomen. Around 7–10 days after birth your uterus will have contracted so much that you can no longer feel it. You can ask your healthcare provider to help you find the top of your uterus so you will know what a well contracted uterus feels like. This will help you notice if your uterus does not continue to contract normally.

Day 4-7

  • Migrate to maternity pads or period pants (see review of Eve Organic Period Pants below)

  • Empty your bladder frequently (at least every 3 hours)

  • Maintain good posture

Day 8-14

  • Consider period pants (see review of Eve Organic Period Pants below)

  • Ensure you are moving freely and walking around the house as much as possible

  • Consider gently walks outside to encourage healthy blood flow

Day 15-36

  • Panty liners may be all you need for the remaining yellowish white discharge

  • Consider period pants (see review of Eve Organic Period Pants below)


If you gave birth more than 24 hours ago and

  • You are still soaking more than one pad every 1–2 hours

  • The amount of bleeding suddenly increases or you suddenly pass large clots

  • The blood suddenly changes back to a bright red colour

  • You feel dizzy, weak, sweaty or have trouble breathing

  • Your vaginal discharge or blood smells, or you have a high temperature

  • You are worried that your bleeding is not normal






At Fermata they source the best available Femtech products from around the globe. I had the pleasure of joining them on a webinar launching a great example of this - the Lilu hands free massaging pumping bra in Singapore, that’s another story and a product you definitely need to look at if you are pumping breastmilk!

They got me thinking, and talking, about how I handle my own periods, and how my clients handle their postpartum bleeding - yes, there is Femtech out there to help us with our natural cycles and postnatal bleeding!

Femtech designers have created super pants, that hold as much, in-fact more, than sanitary pads or tampons, that can last all day long. Yes, we can literally wear super hero pants now (and let’s face it, we are super heroes!)

I was intrigued, I love the idea of no more disposable pads for myself, and also no more adult diapers for my clients. So I invested in a pair of Eve Organic Period Pants to test drive them.

So... how was it...?

I wore them on the first day of my period, which I would say was, on average, a medium flow day. At the start of the day my flow was very light, but by bedtime my flow is much heavier, so it was a good test.

Firstly, they are comfy, super comfy. They don’t look particularly sexy but they feel secure, much more secure than pants with a sanitary pad.

Secondly, they lasted all day. Yes, ALL DAY

The big thing I noticed was that there was NO SMELL, even by the end of the day. I had heard that the smell in “used” sanitary pads is due to a chemical reaction with the blood but I didn’t really believe it, I think I do now (note to self to research this more). There was no nasty smell when I took off the pants after more than 12 hours. By contrast I’m using tampons and sanitary pads today and the usual smell is back, is this proof???

The other factor is confidence - these pants feel super secure, I don't worry about leaks, I can sit how ever I want, I'm not concerned, which is a huge contrast to how I am feeling right now with a sanitary pad (once again 'too much information', sorry!)

But what do you do with blood soaked pants?

Well, I simply rinsed them in the sink. It took less than 5 mins, and seemed no different that rinsing out a stain on a T-shirt if I’m totally honest. I was very un-phased with this, it was super easy. Then I put them in a normal wash load. They will clearly take a little longer to dry, but I know that some time in the sun will also help to remove any tiny stains that may remain (sun is a wonderful natural stain bleacher).

So, for my own menstrual cycle I think I’m a convert; and for my clients…

For families who have help with their washing I would definitely recommend that you try this for the lighter days of their postpartum bleeding. I would recommend rinsing the used pants in the shower (by using your feet to agitate) to minimize the small amount of extra work.

For families without help, I’m guessing this may be something you’ll want to consider when you’ve got everything else in full swing. The convenience of throw away adult diapers or sanitary pads may be too tempting, and I understand that. Although I urge you to still try, not every day maybe, but every piece of disposable waste that we avoid is a good thing for the impact on our bodies and the environment.


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