Childbirth is a life-changing journey for a mother as she goes through a profound transformation, both physically and emotionally. While topics like postpartum depression have started to gain attention and understanding, there’s another critical aspect of childbirth that needs equal or maybe even more recognition: postpartum hemorrhage.
Postpartum hemorrhage, or PPH, is a potentially life-threatening condition. It is characterised by excessive bleeding (bleeding more than the normal amount) that happens after giving birth. According to a report by the National Library of Medicine, if the total estimated blood loss is more than 500ml in vaginal delivery or more than 1000ml in cesarean delivery, it is defined as postpartum hemorrhage. And, as per Stanford Medicine Children’s Health, about one out of 100 to five out of 100 women can experience postpartum hemorrhage.
Now, this excessive bleeding can cause a drop in blood pressure, leading to shock and death if not treated properly. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at what can cause postpartum hemorrhage, how to stop it, and when you should call a doctor.
Causes Of Postpartum Hemorrhage
The main causes of postpartum hemorrhage are typically called the Four Ts–Tone, Trauma, Tissue, and Thrombin. Now understanding these causes and addressing them promptly can help prevent and manage postpartum hemorrhage. Below are some key causes of postpartum hemorrhage that can help a person diagnose them effectively.
1. Uterine Atony:
This is one of the leading causes of PPH. Uterine Atony or uterine tone refers to a soft and weak uterus after childbirth. After giving birth, the uterus normally contracts to push out the placenta. After delivering the placenta, these contractions are supposed to stop the bleeding from the area where the placenta was previously attached. Now in some cases, the uterus fails to contract adequately, leading to excessive bleeding.
2. Uterine Trauma:
Physical injuries to the birth canal, cervix, uterus, or even perineum (area between your genitals and anus during childbirth can also result in excess bleeding. These injuries can happen due to difficult delivery or when instruments like forceps or vacuum extraction are used during delivery. Hematom, a collection of blood, can form in a concealed area which can also lead to bleeding for hours or even days.
3. Retained Placental Tissue:
Normally, the placenta detaches itself from the uterine wall after childbirth. But if the placenta fails to do so or even a small piece of the placenta remains attached, it can affect the uterus’s ability to contract, leading to excessive bleeding.
4. Blood Clotting Disorders:
Conditions like hemophilia (a condition in which blood doesn’t clot0, Willebrand disease (a lifelong condition in which blood doesn’t clot properly), coagulation disorder (a condition that affects the blood’s clotting ability), or pregnancy condition can affect blood clotting and increase the risk of excessive bleeding during and after childbirth.
How To Stop Postpartum Bleeding Faster
Excessive bleeding can compromise the health of a new mother. Hence, it’s essential to manage postpartum hemorrhage well in time. Timely recognition and prompt action are key to treating postpartum bleeding as quickly and effectively as possible, reducing the risk of complications. The aim is to stop the bleeding as soon as possible. Below are some treatments that are used to stop postpartum bleeding faster.
1. Uterine massage helps the muscles of the uterus to contract. Gently massage the uterus as it controls the bleeding by compressing blood vessels.
2. Medications can also be administered to stimulate uterus contractions.
3. Manually removing the placental tissue from the uterus. But this can only be done by a skilled health professional.
4. In case of non-stop bleeding, wearing period panties can also help. Like Sirona Reusable Period Panty. It’s odourless and helps in managing heavy period flow. You can even check out their disposable period panties.
5. Using a ballon-like device that can be inserted into the uterus and inflated to apply pressure to the blood vessels.
6. If bleeding has led to a significant amount of blood loss, a blood transfusion may be needed to restore the blood volume.
7. Repairing vaginal, cervical, and uterine tears.
8. Removing the uterus called hysterectomy. Generally, it is the last resort if nothing else works.
How Long Does Postpartum Bleeding Last
There are two types of postpartum bleeding: primary PPH occurs within 24 hours of childbirth and secondary PPH occurs between 24 hours and six weeks postpartum. Now, postpartum bleeding, also known as lochia, typically lasts for about four to six weeks after childbirth and it goes through various stages. The first is Lochia Rubra(red), which is the initial bleeding and is bright red, lasting for a few days after childbirth. Next is Lochia Seroas(serous), in which the bleeding becomes lighter in colour and may have a pink or brown tinge. This stage can last for around two weeks. The last is Lochia Alba(white), in this phase, the discharge becomes whitish or yellowish and can last for another two to four weeks.
When To Call The Doctor
While postpartum bleeding is a normal part of the recovery process, any of the below signs could indicate a complication that might require prompt medical attention.
1. If you soak through a maxi pad in an hour or less, or if you’re passing large clots.
2. If bleeding goes beyond the first few weeks after childbirth, especially if it becomes heavier over time.
3. If the bleeding has a strong, unpleasant odour, it could be a sign of infection.
4. If you have intense or worsening abdominal pain along with bleeding.
5. If you experience dizziness, lightheadedness, rapid heartbeat, or any other unusual or severe symptoms.
It’s essential that you follow your healthcare provider’s guidance and recommendations for managing postpartum bleeding.
As we know by now in some cases, post-partum bleeding is normal. But, it can last for days or even weeks. You can manage the bleeding by wearing period panties.
Sirona Recommends Best Period Panties
Sirona Disposable period panties
There are chances of stains and leakage while using traditional pads. But Sirona Disposable Period Panty is a super absorbent period underwear that keeps you stain-free and stress-free. These are made of non-woven fabric, are super soft, and comfortable to wear.
Reusable Period Panty – Large
Sirona Reusable Period Panty is leak-proof, soft on the skin, and an environmentally friendly alternative for period flow management. They have a high absorbance rate and can be easily washed for reuse. These are you best picks for your post-partum bleeding.
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