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Maternity pads or sanitary pads – what is better for vaginal bleeding post delivery?

Don't compromise by using sanitary pads post delivery. You need maternity pads for added comfort.

After delivery, the mother starts to bleed heavily as the uterus starts its recovery process. The bloody discharge will be bright red, very heavy and clotted. Probably the bleeding is heavier than her period bleeding and may last anywhere from two to six weeks after delivery. Bleeding lessens over the first six hours to 12 hours when you are resting and when you get up and move around, you may have a rush of blood. This vaginal bleeding is called Lochia and is a normal process which will last till all the excess uterine surface and the placenta is shed off. Here are 15 things that happen after pregnancy that no one warns you about.

Dr Seema Sharma, owner of Srishti Healthcare Centre, New Delhi, and consultant at Apollo Cradle Hospital tells you why using maternity pads is beneficial post-delivery:

Why are they used?

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Maternity pads are extra-long, more absorbable and comfortable designed especially for this situation. Women need to change the pads often to stay fresh and ward off infection. Women always look for soft, long enough pads to feel safe from leaks and smooth to be kind to your stitches. Read: Postpartum bleeding and menstruation after delivery.

Are they better than sanitary pads?

Maternity pads are considered better than sanitary pads because they are a bit thicker and wider than normal pads. During pregnancy, body nourishes the baby due to which the volume of blood rises by 30 to 50 percent. Maternity pads are safe to use after delivery to absorb heavy bleeding as compared to ordinary sanitary napkins. Read: Sanitary pads vs tampons vs menstrual cups what is better?

Can maternity pads be replaced by sanitary pads? Would it make a difference?

Maternity pads are used during and after delivery while sanitary pads are generally used in regular periods. Maternity pads have double absorbency as compared to sanitary pads. Maternity pads are thick in size and long to cover the larger area of the women while sanitary pads are thin and cover lesser area. A regular sanitary pad has netted top layer which is hard against your stitched skin while maternity pads are soft and thicker that gives comfortable feeling when sitting and lying down.

Yes, it makes a difference in the comfort level because the panties or other underclothing does not get stained and there is no discomfort to the stitches. It is important to buy maternity pads rather than sanitary pads as they are longer, softer and thicker than ordinary pads and give you the confidence to stay comfortable.

How many maternity pads do you generally need post-delivery?

Plenty! You should start with 2-3 big pack of 12 maternity pads and buy more according to your need. Your maternity bag should contain at least 2 packets of maternity pads. Good hygiene is extremely important so you need to change your pad often after giving birth to the baby. Read: Is it safe to use tampons post C-section delivery?

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