How Long Should Recovery Take?

After suffering a second trimester miscarriage I spent a lot of time online reading through forums, trying to find out if what I was experiencing was “normal”. I found that “normal” doesn’t always exist. I hope that in writing about my recovery, I can help other women going through the same thing.

Bleeding After Birth
When you have delivered your baby, whether at full term under ideal circumstances, or earlier in the worst possible circumstances it is normal to bleed for up to six weeks. At the end of those six weeks, you have to start advocating for yourself. Call your family doctor, call your midwife, call your OBGYN. I know you’ve gone through something traumatic, but if you want to get past this ugly time, you have to get help. If the bleeding hasn’t stopped on it’s own, if you are still needing a pad or panty liner after 6 weeks get yourself seen. Things aren’t healing and something could be wrong, like placental tissue still inside your uterus. They will do an ultrasound and some blood tests, and perform a D&C if one is needed. In this case, it’s better to be safe than sorry and if nothing is wrong then you can breathe easier.

Bleeding After a D&C
I was told I would bleed for “a few days”. To me “a few” means three, maybe two or four but usually three. So a few days means three days on average. I bled for a few days but had continuous spotting for three weeks. When I spoke with the OBGYN who performed the procedure he said to wait until four weeks. It seems like if the spotting or bleeding hasn’t stopped by four weeks they will likely do another ultrasound and another D&C. If there is still blood after that they will investigate other options.
For me the bleeding stopped by the middle of the third week post D&C. I had my D&C eleven weeks post delivery. I have no evidence to back this statement up but I think that my prolonged spotting post procedure was because I was so far past delivery when it was done.

Final Thoughts
If you are still bleeding or spotting at two weeks past the the “normal” amount of time past a delivery or a D&C please contact your doctor. If it’s still happening a week after that, contact them again, and again… I know it’s scary and you just want to move on, and you’re probably sick of doctors and feeling abnormal – at least that’s how I felt. But ignoring this symptom and hoping it will get better on it’s own won’t actually help anything. Your body has gone through something traumatic, and it will be hard to heal emotionally when you have this physical reminder day after day after day.
With help, though, it will get better. You don’t have to go through it alone and you shouldn’t feel like you have to.

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