Is it normal to have yellow discharge after birth?

The body goes through many changes after having a baby, and having some yellow discharge after birth is normal.

The body goes through many changes after having a baby, and having some yellow discharge after birth is normal. This type of discharge is called “lochia.” It is part of the body’s way of healing itself after delivery, and it is a normal part of recovery after a vaginal birth or cesarean section (C-section).

How long does yellow discharge last after pregnancy?

After having a baby, you may have some type of vaginal discharge for six to eight weeks. In the first few days after giving birth, it is normal to bleed, similar to a heavy period, followed by light bleeding or spotting for up to two weeks. During this time, the discharge may be light red, pink or brown in color.

Eventually, the light spotting may turn into a creamy white or yellow discharge. This discharge is caused by white blood cells that are working to heal the lining of the uterus. It is normal for this type of yellow discharge to last for an additional two to four weeks. It may be heavier in the mornings or while breastfeeding.

This process is happening because the body is shedding the mucous membrane that lined the uterus during pregnancy. It also helps the uterus return to its normal size.

Norton Women’s Care

Our team of OB/GYNs is ready to support patients during their pregnancy, while they’re giving birth and beyond.

Call (502) 629-4GYN (4496)

Request an appointment online.

Do not use tampons

When experiencing bleeding or yellow discharge after giving birth, you should use only pads. Do not use tampons. Tampons can cause infections or damage the vagina while it is healing. The hospital should provide patients with heavy-duty pads to use for the first few days. Nothing should go inside the vagina for at least six weeks after giving birth.

When should I be worried about discharge after giving birth?

Bloody or yellow discharge after birth may have an odor similar to menstrual blood. However, the discharge should not smell foul or fishy. If your discharge has a foul odor, you may have an infection and should contact your provider.

Also contact your provider if you are still bleeding heavily one week after giving birth or your bleeding has slowed down or stopped and suddenly starts again.

Get emergency help right away if:

  • You have sudden, extremely heavy bleeding (soaking a pad within an hour and/or passing large blood clots).
  • Your bleeding is accompanied by a fever, pelvic pain or tenderness.

When to see your provider after having a baby:

All patients should have a follow-up visit with their provider within four to six weeks after giving birth.

If you had a C-section or are at high risk for complications, you should return for a follow-up visit one to two weeks after giving birth.

Schedule an Appointment

Select an appointment date and time from available spots listed below.