Becoming a mother is a task that involves crossing many obstacles. Giving birth to a child is not easy as there are many complications associated with childbirth.
Even if you have delivered safely, there are other postpartum problems that a mother may experience. Postpartum hemorrhage is a serious and uncommon condition that only a few women experience but this is a life-threatening situation that may risk the life of the mother.
Postpartum hemorrhage (also called PPH) is said to occur when a woman has heavy bleeding after giving birth and the estimated blood loss is 500 ml or more.
It's a serious and uncommon condition. It usually happens within 1 day of giving birth, but it can happen up to 12 weeks after having a baby. This is why Postpartum hemorrhage can be divided into 2 types:
1. Early postpartum hemorrhage, which occurs within 24 hours of delivery.
2. Late postpartum hemorrhage, which occurs 24 hours to 6 weeks after delivery.
Causes of PPH:
When the uterus fails to contract after delivery of the baby is one of the most common causes of postpartum hemorrhage and is termed as ‘atonic PPH’. Uterine contractions after birth help stop bleeding from the place in the uterus where the placenta breaks away.
PPH is caused by:
1. Placental abruption (The early detachment of the placenta from the uterus).
2. Placenta previa(The placenta covers or is near the cervical opening).
3. Overdistended uterus.
4. Excessive amount of liquor.
5. Multiple pregnancies.
6. Gestational hypertension or preeclampsia.
7. Having many previous births.
8. Prolonged labor.
Symptoms of PPH:
While early postpartum hemorrhage can be easily identified by the doctors who are supervising you during the delivery, late PPH which occurs days or maybe weeks later requires attention. Every woman should know of these symptoms of PPH that can help in receiving timely treatment and save the mother’s life. Symptoms may include:
1. Uncontrolled bleeding.
2. Increased heart rate.
3. Sudden drop in blood pressure.
4. Swelling and pain around the vagina and perineal area.
Most deaths resulting from PPH occur during the first 24 hours after birth and the majority of these could be avoided by timely and appropriate management.
The treatment options for Postpartum Hemorrhage include:
1. Medications to control contractions in the uterus.
2. Massaging the uterus manually to stimulate uterine contractions.
3. Medical examination of pelvic tissues and uterus.
4. Removing placental pieces from the uterus surgically.
5. Compressing the bleeding area in the uterus using sterile materials and sponges.
6. Laparotomy surgery involves the opening of the abdomen.
7. Hysterectomy- removing the uterus through surgery(which is the last solution to manage the condition and save the mother’s life).
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