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How much bleeding during pregnancy is normal? What to eat?

Updated: Apr 27, 2021

A healthy pregnancy is one of the best ways to promote a healthy birth. Approximately 20% of pregnant women experience light bleeding or spotting during the first trimester of pregnancy. Vaginal bleeding during the first three months of pregnancy is relatively common and usually is a cause of concern for the mother. Women wonder how much bleeding during early pregnancy is normal. Light spotting (bleeding) is normal in early pregnancy. This is when the fertilized egg implants itself in the uterus. During the first 1-2 weeks after conception, this should not set off any alarm bells. Continued bleeding throughout the pregnancy, is different, though. Call your doctor immediately if you are bleeding heavily.

Am I Having Heavy bleeding during pregnancy?

In light bleeding, the flow of blood will be slow, almost drop like and in heavy bleeding the flow of blood will be more.

To know whether bleeding is heavy or light -

  • Notice the blood flow.

  • Wear a pad rather than a tampon.

  • Take note of the frequency with which you are changing the pads.

  • Notice to which extent the pad is stained.

  • Take note of how many hours or days you experienced the bleeding.

Do not wait for the light bleeding to stop or for the heavy bleeding to get lighter. As soon as you notice blood, inform your doctor so that proper medical help can be provided to you.

Non-serious reasons for bleeding early in your pregnancy can include:

  • Implantation (as the egg settles in your uterus the first 6-12 days)

  • Sex

  • Infection

  • Hormones.

Serious causes of vaginal bleeding during the early part of pregnancy can include:

  • An ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy that starts outside the uterus and will not survive).

  • A miscarriage (losing the baby early in a pregnancy).

  • A molar pregnancy (a fertilized egg that implants in the uterus that does not live).

Most women go on to have uncomplicated pregnancies and ultimately deliver a healthy baby. So, experts recommend that a mother-to-be's diet should include a variety of healthy foods and beverages to provide the important nutrients to prepare your baby for lifelong health.

“Healthy bodies make healthy babies, so you have nothing to lose!”- Heidi Murkoff

Food to avoid bleeding during early pregnancy like period.

  • Raw or undercooked meat

  • Unpasteurised milk and dairy products

  • Raw eggs or undercooked eggs

  • Mold-ripened soft cheeses, like brie, camembert and others with a similar rind, including goats' cheese

  • soft blue-veined cheeses, such as Danish blue, gorgonzola and Roquefort.(Read more on the NHS website.)

  • Limit oily fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines, trout, herring, pilchards) to no more than two portions a week as they contain pollutants.

  • Avoid shark, swordfish and marlin as they have high levels of mercury, which could affect your baby’s nervous system.

  • Alcohol (know more at alcohol in pregnancy.)

  • Caffeine such as tea,coffee,cola and other soft drinks,chocolate.

How do I stop the bleeding?

There is nothing you can do to immediately stop the bleeding. The bleeding might stop naturally on its own in few hours or it may get heavier with time depending upon what is causing it.

So In order to stop the bleeding and avoid the complications, you will have to inform your doctor.

Dealing with bleeding during pregnancy alone and on your own is not a very safe thing to do. Seek proper medical attention always.

Other things that can minimize the risks of bleeding during pregnancy are -

  • A healthy lifestyle.

  • Eating a fresh and organic diet.

  • Drinking adequate amount of water.

  • Taking sensible precautions to prevent injuries.

  • Avoiding smoking, drinking and substance abuse.

  • Avoiding stress.

  • Getting an adequate amount of sleep.

Make sure that you are receiving prenatal care during pregnancy. Take the maternal supplements prescribed by your doctor.

Nutrient requirements during pregnancy


Folic acid is needed for your baby’s brain and spine. It also helps make blood during pregnancy. Enough folic acid is important in preventing neural tube defects (NTD), a major birth defect of baby’s brain or spine.

70% of all NTD can be avoided with enough folic acid.

Sources :

Green leafy vegetables (cabbage, spinach, kale) , avocado, legumes, lentils, beans, orange juice, fortified bread and cereal.


Protein helps your baby’s tissue develop and also develops & repairs breast and uterine tissue, muscles, and blood during pregnancy.

Sources :

Lean meat, fish, eggs, dairy, legumes, nuts, seeds.


Iron makes hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that brings oxygen to your tissues. The amount of blood in your body increases during pregnancy, so iron is needed to make your baby’s blood supply.

Sources :

Lean meat, seafood, clams, beef, cereal, bread, pasta, leafy green vegetables, beans, nuts, dried fruits.


DHA is needed for your baby’s brain development and growth. It also helps you stay pregnant long enough.

Sources :

Herring, salmon, trout, halibut, DHA fortified orange juice, milk, and eggs


Vitamin C is needed for wound healing and helps develop your baby’s teeth and bones.

Sources :

Fruits, vegetables, especially red and yellow peppers, broccoli, cabbage, strawberries, brussel sprouts, citrus


Fat gives energy and helps make your baby’s organs & placenta. Poly-unsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) help with your baby’s brain, nervous system, and retina development.

Sources :

Sources of PUFAs: oily fish like salmon, trout, and herring, nuts, seeds, flaxseed, vegetable oil


Calcium helps develop your baby’s bones, teeth, muscles, heart and nerve function. It is also needed for fluid control.

Sources :

Milk, cheese, yogurt, broccoli, kale, tofu, nuts


Iodine helps develop your baby’s brain and nervous system. Enough iodine will help your baby move, think, and feel.

Sources :

Fish, milk, cheese, yogurt, iodized salt, fortified cereal and bread


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