Dealing the unexpected- prolonged post partum bleeding

Posted 10-30-2011 at 07:15 AM by whitneywalters

I have always told by my doctor that postpartum bleeding can last for six weeks so when that mark came and went and I was still bleeding I started to get a little bit worried. I did some reading and found out some women just bleed longer so as long as I was not bleeding heavily or getting a fever I should be okay. That made me feel a little better so I went on with my daily life. Three more weeks pass and I am still bleeding, so this time I call the doctor. I was able to talk to a nurse and she told me until I had been bleeding for three months, got a fever, started bleeding heavily or passing large clots there was nothing they could do.
It was right before 11 weeks of bleeding that something very unexpected happened. I passed three dime sized pieces of placenta. I was shocked. How on earth could I have had retained placenta this long and not gotten sick, how on earth did they miss it since I had a d&c by hand hours after giving birth and how much more was there? After talking to a few people that had the same thing happen my fears got better, since I was still not sick or bleeding heavily I would probably be ok. Not even two days later my bleeding was completely gone. I am very lucky that I did not end up very sick or need another d&c. I do not know what stopped me from getting sick but I do know I am happy that my body took care of things on its own. This was my fourth delivery, I had never dealt with something like this before. My other three kids I only bled for about three weeks, so this threw me for a loop. I wanted to share my experience in hopes of helping someone else. I also want to share some information I learned along the way.

What is normal and what is not information can be foundĀ  here.
Information on postpartum hemorrhage can be found here.
Information on retained placenta can be found here.

Filed Under: Mommy Talk


One Response to “Dealing the unexpected- prolonged post partum bleeding”

  1. pinktree on November 3rd, 2011 6:06 am

    I used to be a theatre nurse. So I can tell you that a D & C is not a very precise procedure. It is done blind by feel alone. Imagine a drink bottle with a coating inside under a blanket and you insert a soda spoon and try to scrape the sides to get it totally clean. Pretty much impossible and it’s easy to miss something. One Dr likened it to vacuuming a room blindfolded.

    I once had bleeding for more than 6 weeks post partum. So I had a D & C and ended up still bleeding for another 6 weeks. I was diagnosed with microscopic retained placenta.

    Another pregnancy I still had bleeding at 6 weeks post partum. That OB did an ultrasound and saw a few small pieces of placenta still in there. Since he knew that I was pro natural rather than intervention he allowed me to just be monitored via ultrasound every 2 weeks to see what would happen. He felt that the body would just reabsorb it. I was to monitor for fever, smell or pain (signs of infection).

    Two weeks later they were shrinking in size and another 2 weeks later they were gone. The bleeding went around then too. I was glad not to have another surgery when it did stop the bleeding the last time anyway.

    I have had 9 full term pregnancies and have not had post partum issues with any of the others.

    I think it’s great that we can share our experiences and learn from each other.


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