How to care for the physical changes to your body after the loss.
Your body will go through a number of changes. These are normal. You can return to your normal daily activities as you feel up to it.
You will have some bleeding. You can expect to have a light to moderate flow for at least three to four days, but could continue for as long as two weeks. It is not unusual for bleeding to stop and start again over this period. The flow is usually not heavier than a normal period. Some people bleed more heavily for a day or so. Every person is different. If you are concerned at all, contact your health care provider.
The cervix (opening of the uterus) remains relaxed and open for several days after pregnancy loss. During this time, bacteria can enter your uterus and cause an infection.
To help prevent infection:
- Use sanitary pads rather than tampons while you are bleeding.
- For the first week, take showers instead of having a bath.
- Avoid swimming.
- Do not have sexual intercourse until after the bleeding has stopped.
- Do not douche or insert anything into your vagina until you have checked with your health care provider.
Breast/chest tissue changes
After birth, your breasts/chests produce milk. Talk to your doctor or public health nurse if your breasts/chests feel warm, hard to touch, swollen or tender.
You might choose to donate your milk. BC Women’s Milk Bank provides pasteurized donor milk to children in need. Most babies who get this milk are sick and their birth parents are not able to breastfeed/chestfeed or produce enough milk to feed their babies. To learn more, visit our donor milk page.
You should have a menstrual period in four to six weeks. By then, your body will have readjusted to its non-pregnant state.
If your period does not resume as expected, arrange to see your health care provider. Remember, everyone's menstrual cycle is different. What is normal for one person may be abnormal for another. If you are concerned at all, get it checked.
It is possible to become pregnant right after the pregnancy loss, even before your regular menstrual cycle resumes. It might be best to wait a few months before beginning another pregnancy. Talk to your doctor about what is best for you.
To keep from getting pregnant, always use some type of birth control every time you have sexual intercourse (until your health care provider says it is okay and you wish to begin another pregnancy). Talk to your health care provider about what type of birth control is best for you.
When to get help
Contact your health care provider, if:
- You have bleeding for more than two weeks.
- You are bleeding heavier than a normal period for more than 24 hours.
- You have foul-smelling, thick fluid coming from your vagina.
- You have really bad belly (abdominal) pain.
- You have chills or a fever over 38.5°C (101.3F).