March 18, 2020 6 min read
"INFO: The team previously at hannahpad Canada launched their own new brand, illum! These blog posts have been written when we used to run hannahpad Canada. All information is still relevant and everything is the same! We simply changed the brand that we offer. "
Most new moms would agree that the postpartum phase is one of life’s most challenging (albeit fulfilling) milestones. Of course, nothing compares to the warm fuzzy feeling that comes with getting to hold your new baby. But as the body heals from the pregnancy and puts everything back in order, changes are afoot and the journey is not for the faint of heart.
This blog will empower you with the knowledge you need so you can easily “go with the flow” during the postpartum period. So let’s talk all about lochia, cramps, comfy washable pads and everything in between. Let’s get started!
The postpartum period is the period after birth when a woman’s body heals from the pregnancy term and normalizes once again. This starts immediately after the delivery of the baby but there are three stages to it:
Now that we have the main terminology covered, let’s answer the next burning question…
The short answer for this is no. Right after delivery, a new mom may experience postpartum bleeding wherein a vaginal discharge called “lochia” leaks out. This discharge contains blood, mucus, and other tissues that were needed in the uterus during the pregnancy.
For the first three days, lochia would typically be dark red. A few small blood clots, no larger than a plum, is normal. After this stage, the lochia will change in colour, turning pink to brown and finally creamy or yellowish until it stops completely.
It might sound scary and even gross but postpartum bleeding is completely normal and healthy! You can stay comfortable at this time with one of illum’s overnight washable pads.
After the postpartum bleeding has stopped, good news—your menstrual periods won’t be back for a while. The schedule of your first menstruation after childbirth relies heavily on a hormone called prolactin, which delays ovulation and menstruation. What increases Prolactin in your body? Breastfeeding.
So now, let’s talk about average time frames. If you don’t breastfeed at all, the first postpartum menstruation could start at 4-8 weeks after childbirth. If you breastfeed and formula-feed (which means the occurrence of breastfeeding is less), it could take weeks to months. And if you breastfeed exclusively (hence more times), the onset could take even longer.
One thing to remember is that the body is still healing - especially within the first 6 weeks after pregnancy. One bodily change is that the uterine cavity becomes larger after pregnancy - this increases the surface area of the uterine lining that needs to be shed during menstruation. Moreover, hormonal changes would have taken over. These two main factors can change how you experience menstruation for a while. In most cases, your period may go back to normal over time - but before it does, here are a few common irregularities you might experience:
Even though the postpartum period can get intense with heavier menstrual flows, cramping, and irregular periods, there are some symptoms you must not ignore. If you experience any of the following, it would be best to consult your doctor as these are signs of a possible infection.
The menstrual care products you’ll need must be comfortable, hygienic, and packs an extra punch in absorption!
These will literally be your best friend during your postpartum bleeding and postpartum period menstruation. The extra padding will help soothe a sore perineum, especially during the first few days. And since these don’t need sticky wings to cling to your underwear, you will also avoid the painful instances of adhesive stuck to your extra-sensitive lady parts.
These pads are also more absorbent and can deal with a sudden gush more effectively. The different sizes you can get will help you adjust to different flows. And the best perk you will get is that these reusable pads breathe better. This means they stay fresher than disposable pads because the moisture does not build up as much. Less moisture means less bacteria. The only catch, of course, is that you need to clean them. We’ll talk more about cleaning reusable menstrual pads in the next section.
Many women rave about this product and consider it as a postpartum period must-have. Mesh panties can provide added support while not being too tight on your sensitive areas, especially during such a time when everything down there is sore. The last thing you need is super tight underwear! These are also perfect as an added barrier for really heavy bleeding.
There are also products you may want to avoid.
Save yourself the pain and frustration. Disposable postpartum pads are flimsy and less absorbent. And let’s not forget about the adhesive wings - these can give you hell if they shuffle and stick to your extra-sensitive and sore parts. A major OUCH!
To top it all off, these products could contain irritants. And because of the plastic linings some disposable postpartum pads have, they lock in moisture. This is good news for bacteria - but not for you.
One word: infection. As these products are highly invasive and abrasive, they shouldn’t be options at all. You would need to stay away from these products especially within the first 6 weeks or before having the doctor’s go signal.
In the above section, we mentioned the use of washable pads in postpartum sizes and how it gives you a whole heap of benefits and comfort during your postpartum period. But then comes the burning question: what is the easiest and most effective way to wash them?
It is an unenviable task for sure, but here are some easy tips to make sure your reusable pads stay clean and hygienic during your postpartum period:
Sodium Percarbonate is what we always recommend, which is oxygen based cleaners like Oxyclean or Nellie's Oxygen brightener.
You’ve got enough on your mind as a new mom without having to worry about if your period products are healthy for you. We offer a wide selection of washable pads that are suitable to every kind of period. Our products are a hygienic, sustainable alternative to disposable menstrual products without all the added chemicals.
While you’re waiting for your body to get back on your typical cycle, consider switching to illum Cloth Pads! You won’t regret it.
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