Lochia is the fluid lost from the vagina after childbirth. It starts as blood stained, but gradually becomes brown and then pale yellow, slowly disappearing over the next four to six weeks. Initially it consists of blood, amniotic fluid, lining of the uterus (endometrial tissue) and foetal skin cells, and has a rather unpleasant odour. After a couple of days the amount and odour reduces, and it consists mainly of mucus.
Sanitary pads specially made for lochia are referred to as maternity pads. These are larger and offer a higher capacity than regular pads.