Bleeding from the vagina is normal in both vaginal and cesarean births. It usually lasts 10 days to three weeks. The color of the bleeding will change from bright red to brownish to tan, and will become less in amount and then disappear. You can take showers and baths at any time, but do not douche before your six-week checkup.
Some new mothers develop complications following their delivery whether it was a vaginal or cesarean birth. Call your doctor if you have any of the following signs or symptoms:
- Fever of 100.4 degrees or higher.
- Increased bleeding without an increase in activity. If you have increased your activity, try resting for an hour. If your flow does not decrease, call your doctor.
- Passing large clots (the size of a quarter or larger).
- Severe pain in your abdomen, chest or legs.
- Tender, painful or reddened breasts.
- Painful or frequent urination.
- Severe headache or vision problems.
- Shortness of breath.
- Swelling of hands or face.
- Severe pain, tenderness, redness or yellow drainage from the incision if you had had a cesarean birth (a small amount of clear, sticky fluid may ooze from the incision, and this is normal).