|What is postpartum haemorrhage?
If the uterus does not contract sufficiently after the
delivery of the baby, postpartum haemorrhage may occur.
This only occurs after one in twenty of deliveries, and
is considered a haemorrhage if half a litre or more of blood
has been lost in the first day after the birth. There are
a wide range of reasons for this to occur. It can be caused
by pieces of placenta that are left behind, or injury to
the birth canal. Insufficient uterine contractions can be
caused by lack of oxytoxin, poor muscle tone, exhaustion,
or medical problems such as fibroids.
This type of blood loss can be frightening for the patient,
and will be treated extremely seriously by the medical staff.
The removal of remaining placenta will be accomplished either
by manual or surgical means. Bleeding injuries from the
birth will need to be repaired. Oxytoxin may be given if
increased uterine contractions are required massage of the
uterus can aid in this respect. Breastfeeding is another
way to encourage uterine contractions, which are responsible
for the abdominal pain that many women experience when breast
feeding during the first few days after the birth.