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Heavy staining six weeks postpartum

17 November, 2015

Question:

I gave birth to a baby girl exactly 6 weeks ago and went to the mikva exactly one week ago. On Friday night (5 days after mikva), I had a ketem on my colored underwear… I am pretty sure it is coming from inside my womb, because it is common for bleeding to start and stop, and it looked like it had been discharge. As far as I know I am not nida because my underwear were colored. But throughout the day, the spots continues (all except for one were smaller then a gris)… and they are still continuing this morning. The spots are smaller then a gris (except one), on colored underwear, and do not require me to wear a pad (it is NOT heavy bleeding…). What should I do? Just wait 24 hours to have relations, even if it could be days of waiting, or am I nida because the spotting is continuous? Also, what happens regarding harchakot?


Answer:

Mazal tov on the birth of your baby!

Distinguishing between heavy staining and a light period can be difficult.  If you see a flow of blood exiting your body, it is considered a flow and you are in niddah.  Short of that, as a rule of thumb, if your bleeding is less than that of your lightest period, it is considered staining.

It is also worth noting that stains on your body, on the inner thigh or inside of the legs, can make you a niddah if their combined area is over a gris (roughly, the area of an American dime or Israeli shekel).  Whereas we judge the size of stains on a garment independently, on the body we assess the cumulative area.

That being said, staining on colored underwear without hargashah does not render a woman niddah, even when it continues over time.  What you describe is consistent with heavy staining.  In this case, our recommendation is to abstain from relations for twenty-four hours or until the staining clearly subsides.  But that is just a recommendation and not a strict halachic requirement.  Harchakot need not be kept since you are not in niddah.  You would only keep harchakot if you were to become niddah, or if you had a stain the status of which was unclear.

We hope this helps.  Please feel free to get back to us with any follow-up questions.


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