How to Treat Postpartum Hemorrhages

May 1, 2019
Postpartum hemorrhages are a noteworthy cause of death, especially in underdeveloped countries. Most of the time, however, they can be prevented with certain procedures.

Postpartum hemorrhages have significant risks for women. In addition, they’re one of the main postpartum complications around the world.

What causes them? How can you treat them?

In this article, we’ll show you the most important aspects of this problem.

What Are Postpartum Hemorrhages?

Postpartum hemorrhages are defined as blood loss greater than 500 mL after vaginal delivery. If you had a cesarean section, this increases to 1L of blood loss. Around the world, 75% of postpartum complications are from hemorrhages.

In addition, postpartum hemorrhages are the main cause of maternal death in underdeveloped countries. In fact, they cause almost one third of maternal deaths.

One third of these cases don’t have risk factors or known causes. Therefore, we know that postpartum hemorrhages can occur to any woman during any delivery. However, there are four common causes of this condition:

  • Uterine atony: the woman is unable to contract the uterine muscles.
  • Traumas or injuries to the vagina or cervix.
  • Retention of placental remains from issues in delivery.
  • Blood clots.

How to Treat Postpartum Hemorrhages

It’s important to get treatment quickly and efficiently to prevent maternal death. Nowadays, there are steps to prevent postpartum hemorrhages in developed countries, and the death rate from this condition is at 5%.

Therefore, it’s necessary to start interventions. The goal of them is to reduce the number of risk factors that you have.

Check this out: Is Vaginal Birth Possible After Having a C-Section?

Actively Manage Your Delivery

Currently, there are prevention strategies to prevent postpartum hemorrhages.

Delivery also includes expelling the placenta after giving birth. The more the uterus contracts, the shorter this stage of labor will last. Additionally, it will be more efficient. Therefore, this will reduce your risk of bleeding.

This can happen at several different levels. First, they may give you uterotonic medication. These are substances that make the uterus contract, making delivery shorter.

The most common uterotonic agent is oxytocin. In places where oxytocin isn’t available, doctors may use other substances like misoprostol. Additionally, the doctor should check the abdomen every once in a while to make sure it’s contracting like it should.

Other steps doctors may take include clamping the umbilical cord early with traction of the placenta.However, this is currently a controversial practice.

Check this out: Illnesses During Pregnancy that Every Woman Should Know About

Prevent Perineal Tears

The perineal area is located between the genitals and anus. In uncontrolled deliveries, it’s common for women to have a perineum tear. Therefore, it can cause postpartum hemorrhages. This is why some women receive an episiotomy. This technique makes a small, controlled tear in the perineal area.

Episiotomies are also effective to prevent uncontrolled bleeding. However, they’re also great for preventing future problems. For example, they may prevent things like pain or bad scarring.

Detecting and Treating Anemia During Pregnancy

Anemia can make postpartum hemorrhages worse.

Anemia can make postpartum hemorrhages worse.Therefore, diagnosing and treating anemia are also ways to prevent extra bleeding.

However, treating anemia can depend more on getting to it in time with supplements, not on the amount of supplements. Thus, we recommend that all pregnant women take iron and folic acid supplements, starting at least the ninth week of pregnancy.

Minimizing Perineal Tears in Assisted Deliveries

Sometimes, doctors may need to use special tools to help a woman give birth. You should choose instruments by picking the ones that cause the least amount of injuries as possible.

Therefore, the evidence suggests that if you need to have an assisted delivery, you should choose a suction cup first.

Blood Transfusion

Postpartum hemorrhages can make you lose a lot of blood. Therefore, it’s important to get a blood transfusion to make up for the blood loss.

Final Thoughts on Postpartum Hemorrhages

Postpartum hemorrhages are one of the most common obstetric complications in the world that cause maternal death. Since all women are at risk of suffering from them, it’s important to maintain control throughout your whole pregnancy. 

In addition, it’s essential to get help as soon as possible to have the best prognosis.

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