Excessive heavy bleeding post-birth has claimed this woman’s life. She didn't even get the chance to hold her baby before passing away. What is the cause of heavy bleeding after delivery? Read on...
For the past two days, Malaysians have been shocked and sympathetic upon hearing about this tragedy. A mother, known as Azian, died in Seberang Jaya Hospital, Penang, after giving birth to her beautiful daughter – due to excessive bleeding.
According to Penang Kini, the late Azian died after suffering from a postpartum haemorrhage. By sharing this story, I hope we (especially being children of our own mothers) could all appreciate and give more respect to this superhuman we call “mothers” as they have fought a long and hard journey just to deliver us on Earth and because of that, we owe it all to them.
I am deeply saddened by the loss that you and your family have encountered. May Mr Nashif (husband) and his beautiful children stay strong during these tough times. My condolences.
What is postpartum haemorrhage?
According to Dr Muhammad Izzat Abdul Razak, an obstetrician and gynaecologist, heavy bleeding after delivery or postpartum haemorrhage is excessive bleeding that occurs before, during or after giving birth.
Usually, bleeding does occur during and after giving birth. This happens because of cervical lacerations and deep tears in vagina or perineum.
There are 2 types postpartum haemorrhage:
- Primary postpartum haemorrhage – occurred within the first 24 hours after delivery (Usually while you still in hospital)
- Secondary postpartum haemorrhage – occurred between 24 hours up to 6 weeks after delivery. (Usually when you’re already at home)
However, a major postpartum haemorrhage might happen when blood loss is up to 500 ml for normal delivery and 1 litre for caesarian operation.
Why does this terrible experience happen?
Pregnant women are susceptible to this experience if they don’t get much attention from the medical team. This might lead to extreme fatigue after giving birth too.
There are some reasons that might cause this terrible experience, such as:
- Retained placenta or membranes left behind in your womb,
- Uterine atony,
- Large injury or wound in the cervix, vagina or perineum,
- Pregnant at age 40 or above,
- Bleeding before giving birth (antepartum haemorrhage),
- Have low-lying placenta,
- Giving birth via caesarian,
- Induction of labour,
- Injury during assisted birth – such as forceps or vacuums,
- Big baby with more than 4kg,
- Bleeding before (from previous delivery),
- Give birth more than 5 times
Be aware of these symptoms
The complication of postpartum haemorrhage might call for a removal of your uterus or it could cost your life! Till 2005, data collection has concluded that almost 14% of deaths after delivery were caused by postpartum haemorrhage.
Most women who experience this tragic incident are unaware and oblivious to the symptoms, which can be fatal.
Seek immediate medical help and attention if you have any of these symptoms, especially after 24 hours of delivery:
- A drop in blood pressure
- A rise in pulse rate
- Feeling dizzy, headache and want to faint
- Shivering and sweating
- Heavy bleeding
- Heavy bleeding with blood in form of lumps
- The need to frequently change your maternal pad (every hour)
- Stench and smell from bleeding (due to infection)
- Extremely tired
Advice from doctors
What would the doctors do to reduce the risk of postpartum haemorrhage during giving birth? Usually, your medical team will seek action right away if you start to bleed excessively.
They will give you an injection that contains Syntocinon (oxytocin) to reduce the blood loss. During your dosage, your doctor will start massaging your uterus to help it contract.
However, doctors have advised all women to constantly undergo antenatal checkups. If your family history suggests a connection to postpartum haemorrhage, you are advised to deliver your baby in a hospital that is fully equipped with a blood bank.
In fact, seek immediate medical attention if you have any symptoms of heavy bleeding. Do not give birth without a doctor! Start eating foods that contain high iron such as shellfish, liver, green vegetables and pink guava.
I hope everything goes well on you!
Share this article to educate all women out there about this risk of “heavy bleeding after delivery”. Hopefully all you pregnant mummies are getting stronger by the day. And please take care of your health!
Photo Credit: Penang Kini