Your Baby and You - page 19

Blood loss (lochia)
Vaginal bleeding straight after delivery is normal. At first it is bright red, and
then it becomes more watery and pink, then turns brown, and finally turns to
a cream colour. At first it may be quite heavy, but it should become lighter;
therefore if sanitary pads are soaked, you are passing fresh red blood or clots,
have abnormal pain or notice an offensive smell, or you are concerned,
contact the 24 hour emergency line for advice.
Bladder (passing urine)
Soreness after the birth can make passing urine painful initially, but it should
resolve quickly. Drinking plenty of fluids to keep the urine diluted helps. For
the first couple of days following birth you may not realise that your bladder
needs emptying. It is therefore important to pass urine approximately every
2-4 hours for the first few days, when awake. Sometimes leakage of urine may
occur on coughing or sneezing, this is known as stress incontinence. Some
women may need to wear protective pads.
If so, let your midwife or GP know. They can refer you to a continence adviser,
once other underlying causes such as infection have been excluded. You can
help yourself to improve your bladder control by doing your pelvic floor
exercises (explained later in this booklet).
Looking after yourself is just as important as looking after
your baby. The following information may help to
answer some of your questions.
Physical changes
your baby and you
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