- 1 Postpartum Hemorrhage
- 1.1 What is Postpartum Hemorrhage?
- 1.2 What is Secondary Postpartum Hemorrhage?
- 1.3 How common is postpartum hemorrhage?
- 1.4 Causes of postpartum hemorrhage
- 1.5 5 Symptoms of postpartum hemorrhage
- 1.6 Postpartum hemorrhage treatment
- 1.7 When to call a doctor
What is Postpartum Hemorrhage?
- Postpartum bleeding or postpartum hemorrhage or primary postpartum hemorrhage also known as “PPH” is when a mother experiences excessive bleeding. The bleeding is in the range of 600 ml to 1000 ml of blood following the delivery of a baby.
What is Secondary Postpartum Hemorrhage?
- In Secondary Postpartum hemorrhage is primarily due to an infection. The infection could be because of some retained pieces of placenta, breakdown of uterine wound, or obstructed labor. The vaginal bleeding is between 48 hours to 6 weeks after the birth.
How common is postpartum hemorrhage?
- About 4 % of woman experiences postpartum hemorrhage.
- The chances of developing postpartum hemorrhage is high with cesarean birth.
- A woman can have hemorrhage before or after the placenta is delivered.
Causes of postpartum hemorrhage
- Once the placenta is delivered, the uterus begins to contract. The uterus gradually begins to compress the bleeding vessels to which the placenta is attached. The contraction has to be strong enough to compress the bleeding vessels. The bleeding vessels remains uncompressed when the contraction is weak. This is called Uterine Atony which causes excessive bleeding. This excessive bleeding results in postpartum hemorrhage.
- Uterine Atony can lead to a life-threatening condition because of the postpartum hemorrhage.
- Some other causes of postpartum hemorrhage are:-
- Tear in cervix
- Blood vessel tear in uterus
- Blood clotting disorders
5 Symptoms of postpartum hemorrhage
Some of the symptoms of postpartum hemorrhage are
- Excessive uncontrolled bleeding
- Increase in heart rate
- Decrease in blood pressure
- Decrease in the red blood cell count
- Swelling and pain in the vagina and cervix and surrounding area
Postpartum hemorrhage treatment
- Oxytocin is the drug of choice for hemorrhage treatment. Oxytocin helps the uterus to contract quickly.
- Uterine massage helps in stimulating uterine contractions.
- Laparotomy – Laparotomy is opening of abdominal cavity. The doctor examines the abdominal cavity to determine the cause of the bleeding.
- Hysterectomy – Hysterectomy is removal of uterus. This is used as a last resort when all the measures have failed.
When to call a doctor
Postpartum hemorrhage can occur soon at delivery or soon after the baby is delivered. You may bleed on discharge and at home. In such cases, immediately seek doctor’s help.