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Postpartum Bleeding — What's normal & what's not

What is it? While it sounds unpleasant (or downright scary), tearing is actually a common birth injury that most women recover from quickly and without complication. Tearing is the term for lacerations to vaginal tissue during birth. While the surge of estrogen, elastin and relaxin prepare the vagina to become more elastic for labor and delivery, it is quite common for tearing to occur, most often when the baby’s head and shoulders are emerging from the vagina. Tears can occur on the skin of the perineum, the region that connects the vagina and the rectum, and can range from small, superficial abrasions, which require no stitches at all (30% of vaginal births require no stitches) to mild tears, which require...

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