Postpartum haemorrhage occurs when women experience bleeding is in excess or more than normal after a mother gives birth to a baby. About 1 in 100 to 5 in 100 women experience postpartum haemorrhage It is more common in the cesarean process than in the normal process of giving birth. Maternal Haemorrhage often happens after the placenta is delivered.
What are the causes of Maternal Haemorrhage?
After delivery, the uterus usually contracts and pushes out the placenta. These contractions help put pressure on the bleeding vessels in the area where the placenta was attached at the time of birth. If the uterus does not contrast strongly enough, the blood vessels bleed freely, causing postpartum haemorrhage.
Other causes may include:
- Tear in the cervix or tissue of vagina
- Tear in a blood vessel in the uterus
- Bleeding into a hidden tissue area or space in the pelvis
- Blood clotting disorders
- Placenta problems
- Placenta Abruption (early detachment of the placenta from the uterus)
- Placenta Previa (when the placenta covers or is near the opening of the cervix)
- Overdistended Uterus (where the uterus is larger than normal because of excess amniotic fluid or a large baby)
- Multiple Baby Pregnancy
- Having Many Previous Births
- Prolonged Labor
- Use of forceps or vacuum assisted delivery
What are the symptoms of maternal hemorrhage?
- Uncontrolled bleeding
- Decreased blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
- Decrease in the red blood cell count
- Swelling and pain in and around the vagina
How is maternal hemorrhage treated?
- Medicine or uterine massage to stimulate contractions
- Removing pieces of the placenta that remains in the uterus
- Examining the uterus and other pelvic tissues, the vagina and vulva to look for areas that may need repair
- Laparotomy (surgery done to open the abdomen to find the cause of bleeding)
- Tying off or sealing blood vessels (done using uterine compression sutures, special gel, glue or coils)
- Hysterectomy (surgery done to remove the uterus)
It is important to replace lost blood in treating maternal hemorrhage. You may quickly be given fluids, blood, and blood products to prevent shock. Oxygen will also help in such situations. Maternal hemorrhage is very serious and must be taken seriously by all women and girls. The problem can be nipped in the bud if the cause of bleeding can be found quickly, it can be treated and you will be able to recover fully.