Called lochia, heavy bleeding can occur for up to 10 days following the vaginal birth or c-section of a baby, according to What to Expect. Lighter bleeding or spotting can also occur after this for up to six weeks following delivery.
During this period of bleeding, the body is getting rid of extra tissue and blood that it needed during pregnancy but no longer needs after the baby is born, according to What to Expect. Unlike a menstrual period, lochia is much heavier and can consist of mucus and tissue from the uterus in addition to blood. During this time, the use of thick sanitary pads is necessary, while tampons should not be used until regular menstruation resumes.