Postpartum Hemorrhage

Hemorrhaging is excessive bleeding caused after placenta detaches from the uterus. It is a serious condition that requires immediate medical attention. It occurs in about 4 percent of women after birth.  Most postpartum hemorrhages occur immediately after delivery but some can occur weeks after delivery.

Postpartum Hemorrhage

Hemorrhaging is excessive bleeding caused after placenta detaches from the uterus. It is a serious condition that requires immediate medical attention. It occurs in about 4 percent of women after birth.  Most postpartum hemorrhages occur immediately after delivery but some can occur weeks after delivery.

Frequently Asked Questions

You will know you are hemorrhaging if you are losing excessive amounts of blood, experiencing a drop in blood pressure or have a low red blood cell count. You will be monitored carefully for hemorrhaging in the first 24-48 hours after delivery.  When you leave the hospital you will be given instructions for identifying signs of hemorrhaging, such as bleeding than fills more than a pad each hour or the passing of golf ball size clots or larger. Hemorrhaging can occur in women up to 6 weeks after birth.

If you are hemorrhaging, your doctor will administer fluids via your IV. You will also be given medications to encourage uterine contractions and possibly a blood transfusion.  In rare situations, lifesaving surgery is necessary including hysterectomy.

Your body will need time to replenish its blood levels, so it is normal to experience some weakness or lightheadedness following a postpartum hemorrhage. Depending on the extent of the hemorrhage, some women may need to be kept in the hospital for medical oversight during the initial stages of recovery. The vast majority of women who experience postpartum hemorrhaging make complete recoveries without long-term side effects.

Close Menu