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Updated on 3 November 2023
Besides dealing with postpartum anxiety, depression and numerous hormonal changes, women may also experience postpartum hemorrhage after childbirth. Postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) is serious bleeding from the vagina after childbirth. It is a life-threatening condition that can lead to the death of a person. PPH can happen soon after birth or until 84 days after during the postpartum period. Detection at an initial stage is life-saving.
Vaginal bleeding is common after childbirth in case of any form of delivery however, if the amount of bleeding is over 32 ounces, it is considered to be postpartum hemorrhage. PPH can lead to severe complications. A favourable treatment outcome is seen when it is caught and treated early.
There are two types of postpartum hemorrhage. When bleeding occurs:
Postpartum hemorrhage can often be confused with menstruation after delivery. When experiencing an unusual amount of bleeding, always consult a physician.
Common symptoms of PPH are:
During the delivery, after the baby is pushed out, there is a third contraction. During this stage, the uterus resumes contraction and pushes the placenta out. This contraction puts pressure on blood vessels. When this pressure is not sufficient, it causes bleeding.
Other causes of postpartum hemorrhage are:
The healthcare workers first review the health history and perform a physical examination. Lab tests help confirm the diagnosis. Some of the lab tests taken are:
The goal is to stop bleeding by finding the cause. The postpartum hemorrhage treatment includes:
Medications for postpartum hemorrhage treatment are given to contract the uterus. This is given when inadequate contraction is the reason for the bleeding. The common drug is oxytocin, methylergonovine, and prostaglandins.
Women with problems in the placenta during pregnancy are at risk of developing PPH. Some other causes are:
The path of recovery is different for everyone. Recovery depends on the volume of blood loss that occurred. Postpartum care is important to help you recover by doing the following:
Ans. PPH can cause complications like an increased heart rate, rapid breathing, and decreased blood flow. These symptoms can affect all the vital organs of the body, causing shock. Death can occur when not treated.
The best way is by identifying risk factors before pregnancy. Persons should share their complete medical histories. Routine medications can be lifesaving.
Ans. About 1 in 5 women experience this among a group of 100 women.
Ans. Yes, but there is also a chance that PPH can occur again. Hence, individuals should always provide a complete medical history prior to delivery.
Ans. It is always better to get admitted in a setting where emergency care is available. Early care can be lifesaving and lead to a faster recovery.
Ans. Yes, it is a fatal condition when left untreated. Persons lose blood very quickly, leading to a very rapid fall in BP. This is called shock, and it can lead to death.
PPH is a critical condition that requires immediate treatment. When experiencing any severe bleeding, it is important to contact the physician. False alarms are okay; it is better to be safe than sorry. Other signs are dizziness, feeling faint, and blurred vision. Early diagnosis and prompt management can be lifesaving. It is important to tell the doctors about any past experience with PPH and provide a full medical history.
Priyanka is an experienced editor & content writer with great attention to detail. Mother to a 10-year-old, she's skilleRead More
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