Neonatal menstruation is the bleeding that some newborn female babies experience a few days after birth for around 3-4 days. Another name for it is false menses. Its cause is the sudden drop-off in the mother’s estrogens after birth. Few people know about this phenomenon as it is not a popular topic, but it is an important one in the case of new parents and the safety of the babies as sometimes unawareness can cause a misunderstanding about whether it is some infection or the false menses.
False Menses is a natural response of the baby’s body to the sudden drop in the levels of estrogen it had received from the mother’s body in the womb. When she is born, the drop in hormonal levels triggers the shedding of the inner uterine layer, hence resulting in vaginal bleeding.
Sudden bleeding in a female newborn arises panic among parents as few people know about what it is and why it happens and assume the worst, however, more people need to be made aware of these things to avoid unnecessary panic and fear.
As mentioned before, the bleeding is supposed to last for a maximum of 5 days and if it lasts longer, the child should be shown to the doctor immediately as false menses do not last for long. Also, if there is any foul odor from the discharge, blood clotting or profuse bleeding, then the child may also need medical attention.
Other causes of vaginal bleeding can be infection, genetic conditions, and trauma so it is advised that the parents keep a close watch on the discharge duration and other related symptoms
Another similar discharge that can be seen in the diaper is an orange color staining which can be mistaken for blood but it’s not a false menses and is also not a cause for concern as it is urinary uric acid crystals excreted in the urine and it is completely normal.
This topic is not known at all in the rural areas due to lack of knowledge and awareness. Seeing blood in the urine of infants can cause panic and fear in people, extra panic is set in when they are poor with insufficient resources to get the baby checked and treated.