Two years after I had my son, I discovered that I was pregnant. I was overjoyed and so sure I was going to have a baby girl, when I noticed that as the pregnancy progressed, I felt weaker with each month. I talked to my mother about it, and she assured me that it was normal for some pregnancies. I had my second son via a Cesarean section and felt faint immediately after the delivery. I lost so much blood that I was given an intra-venous drip solution. I decided to ask the doctor about my condition and he explained it fully to me. I want to share it in my own words so that other women can understand and know how to prevent such blood loss after delivery. Postpartum bleeding or postpartum haemorrhage is the loss of more than 500 ml or 1000ml of blood within the first twenty four hours following childbirth. Other symptoms include coldness, feeling faint and a increased heart rate and breath rate in the woman. Postpartum bleeding may start twenty four hours after delivery and continue up to six weeks later. Postpartum bleeding within twenty four hours after delivery is primary while postpartum bleeding that lasts more than twenty four hours after delivery is classified as secondary.
There are many causes of postpartum bleeding are poor contraction of the uterus, tear of the uterus, lack of complete or total removal of placenta, poor blood clotting, injury to the birth canal and retention of tissue from the fetus. There is no clear form of prevention as obesity or giving birth after forty years of age in the mother are risk factors. However attending antenatal sections regularly and taking iron tablets during the pregnancy are important to treat bleeding disorders in the woman and prevent anaemia after childbirth. The treatments and management vary from one cause of Postpartum bleeding to another. The first form of treatment is uterine massage to help the uterus contract to reduce bleeding. It is done after the delivery of the placenta. Other treatments involve evacuation of the tissue in the uterus, the use of uterine contractants like oxytocin or misoprostol, identification of any torn area in the woman’s reproductive part and stitching it, or blood transfusion for the woman.
Many women die of Postpartum haemorrhage in the world. I was lucky to have medical attention even though at that time, I did not have the knowledge. Postpartum haemorrhage is more common than you think. Endeavour to eat well during pregnancy, attend your antenatal sessions and visit the doctor when you feel slightly weak. Our people say blood is life, do not lose your life blood.
Written by : Gimbiya Galadima