Nishmat's Women’s Health and HalachaIn memory of Chaya Mirel bat R' Avraham

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Color of lochia

31 October, 2008

Question:

I gave birth three weeks ago (to a boy) and I was just looking at the laws regarding mikva after giving birth. Everything talks about when the bleeding has ceased, but I haven't seen any discussion as to colours in bleeding. Lochia are supposed to go from red to yellowish-white, and I am already not seeing any red, but the yellowy colour childbirth information talks about. I'm wondering whether that is included as blood for the purposes of mikva, or if once the discharge has turned yellowy-white it is not considered blood anymore and I can start counting clean days?


Answer:

Mazal tov on the recent birth of your baby!

Once the bleeding is no longer reddish or pink, you may attempt to perform a hefsek taharah. The hefsek taharah does not need to be completely clear; discharge that is white or light yellow (and does not have a reddish hue) does not invalidate the hefsek. If you find a brown discharge you should bring it to a rabbi for evaluation since some but not all shades of brown are acceptable.

Please note that it is common for lochia to stop and start up again, so do not be discouraged if you find that your attempts at counting the seven clean days get interrupted. On average, a woman will experience bleeding after birth for 4-6 weeks.

Please feel free to get back to us with any further questions.


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