Period Undies That Are Postpartum Period Friendly and Don’t Feel Like You’re Wearing a Nappy
Welcome to POPSUGAR Uninhibited, a space where anyone with a period can come for advice, recommendations and support. Here, we’ll tackle topics like PMS, sustainability, post-partum periods and bring you first-person experiences in our period diaries. We also want to raise awareness around period poverty, with the aim to ignite change with the help of our launch partner Modibodi and charity partner Share the Dignity. You can find all of the stories here.
Becoming a parent is an incredible experience, but it can also bring with it a number of changes. Your family unit shifts and in the immediate aftermath of birth, you’re inundated with changes to your hormones and body. The postpartum experience and everything that it entails isn’t really discussed enough, especially when it comes to bleeding.
Whether you give birth vaginally or via Caesarean section, bleeding post-birth is extremely normal. Postpartum bleeding can last up to six weeks after giving birth and, if you’re not breastfeeding, your first postpartum period will usually make an appearance six to eight weeks after birth. Basically, there’s a lot of blood.
Dealing with this bleeding isn’t always straightforward and many of the postpartum sanitary pad options feel like you’re basically wearing a nappy. To avoid going down the diaper route, you might find period undies to be more comfortable for you. Thankfully, leak-proof underwear brand Modibodi has period underwear options for those experiencing postpartum bleeding — no nappy in sight.
Below, you’ll find everything you need to know about bleeding post-birth, what you can expect of the first days and weeks after baby and the best way to manage this without feeling like you’ve got a surfboard between your legs.
The reason behind postpartum bleeding is fairly straightforward. During pregnancy, blood vessels connect the placenta to the uterus and once the placenta detaches from the uterine wall after birth, these blood vessels are open and cause vaginal bleeding. The body is incredibly smart in its design so your uterus will begin to contract over the coming days to help slow and eventually, stop the bleeding.
The amount you bleed after giving birth varies for everyone, but it is often heavier than a regular period — unless you already have experience with extremely heavy periods, of course. According to Modibodi, in the first two days post-birth, the bleeding is usually at its heaviest — with some people filling one sanitary pad per hour. At this point, the blood will also be a bright red shade.
Over the coming days, the bleeding will slowly start to lessen and the colour will change to a brown or pink-tinted shade, before eventually changing to a creamy discharge colour. It’s super common to pass blood clots at this time, so don’t be too worried if you find them in your pad post-birth.
In the 24 hours after giving birth, these clots can be as big as a golf ball but as the days go by, they generally become smaller in size and less frequent. There’s no real normal after birth, but if you’re still experiencing clots after the first day, it’s best to check in with your doctor.
The same goes for excessive bleeding. If you feel like you’re losing a lot of blood after 24 hours, you’re still soaking a pad every one to two hours or something doesn’t feel right, make sure to flag this with your doctor or midwife.
The First Postpartum Period
After the postpartum bleeding subsides, the next thing to expect is your first postpartum period. After months of being period-free, the first menstrual cycle after birth will be different to what you usually experience. After pregnancy, your body will have a larger amount of uterine lining that needs to be shed, so chances are the first postpartum period will be heavier than you’re used to.
It’s also common to experience cramping that could be stronger than normal, as well as blood clots and irregular cycle lengths. It takes time for your cycle to regulate after birth, so the length of your cycle may differ or you might notice that your period stops and starts erratically.
The first postpartum period usually arrives six to eight weeks after birth but this will differ for those who are breastfeeding. This is due to an influx of the hormone prolactin, which is needed to produce breast milk and can also suppress reproductive hormones. This can stop your body from ovulating or releasing an egg, resulting in a lack of menstruation.
Dealing With Post-Birth Bleeding
Whether it’s postpartum bleeding or your first period post-birth, previously, your only option to catch this bleeding was a pad. Tampons are often discouraged by doctors for the first few weeks as they can cause trauma to this already delicate area.
Pads, while effective at soaking up blood, aren’t the most eco-conscious choice. Sanitary pads are single-use items that take a long time to break down in landfill. In fact, it is estimated that it can take 500 to 800 years for sanitary pads to decompose — an incredibly long time for something we use once for only a few hours.
These days, we have access to another option — one that is far better for the planet. Say hello to the Modibodi Maternity and Postpartum Range, which has you covered from conception to postpartum. And, unlike a bulky and scratchy postpartum pad, these undies are far more comfortable.
The Maternity Brief is designed with a v-shaped waistband that sits comfortably below the baby bump, or post-baby belly, and includes Modibodi’s most absorbent lining ever. Created with Modibodi’s patent-pending Maxi-24hrs Technology, these undies provide the ultimate protection from heavy discharge, postpartum bleeding or bladder leaks as they absorb up to 50ml of fluid.
The addition of an antimicrobial lining also helps to minimise odour and fight bacteria thanks to the breathable material. Pack a few of these into your hospital bag to use pre and post-birth. After the arrival of baby, you can switch to the Postpartum Control Brief.
These undies feel much like shapewear, offering built-in protection thanks to the high-waisted style that includes bonded panels for both tummy control and back support. As well as looking and feeling good, the Postpartum Control Brief is designed to catch post-birth bleeding as well as heavy discharge or light to moderate bladder leaks, which are all too common. You’ll be protected without feeling like you’re matching your baby with a nappy of your own.
With so much happening in the days and weeks after birth, it’s a relief to know that you have eco-friendly, leak-proof and supportive options when it comes to postpartum bleeding. Say goodbye to the single-use surfboard.