If you have heavy blood loss after the birth

If you have heavy blood loss after the birth

There are certain factors that may put you at increased risk of heavy bleeding after the birth (called 'postpartum haemorrhage'). If any of these apply to you, you will be advised to have your baby in an obstetric unit.

A haemorrhage needs urgent treatment and can be frightening, but healthcare professionals are well trained to deal with it. You will be transferred to hospital if you are not already there. You will be offered the following treatment:

  • oxytocin and/or another drug called ergometrine, which helps your uterus contract to stop the bleeding

  • if your placenta hasn't already been delivered, the healthcare professional will remove it by pulling carefully on the cord (while protecting the uterus)

  • fluids through a drip

  • oxygen through a face mask.

If the bleeding continues, you should be given more oxytocin and/or ergometrine, or other drugs. In some cases an examination under anaesthetic and surgery, and/or a blood transfusion, may be needed.

Someone should stay with you and your birth companion(s) throughout the treatment to explain what is happening, support you and answer any questions you have.

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