You may wonder whether your labor will stall, whether your unborn child will be in distress or whether you will need an emergency C-section. You probably have these concerns because they could affect the health of your infant, but you may also want to consider your health as well. You could experience many issues during labor and delivery as well such as excessive bleeding.
Isn't some bleeding normal?
Absolutely. However, there are limits. Most women lose no more than one pint of blood during a vaginal delivery. If you require a C-section, you could lose as much as two pints since it is a major surgery. However, any more blood loss than that could put your life at risk.
Bleeding occurs due to the placenta detaching from the uterine wall, which breaks blood vessels. Under ordinary circumstances, the uterus continues to contract, which stops the bleeding.
What would keep the uterus from contracting?
The most common reasons that your uterus may not contract during delivery include the following:
- You had a rapid, prolonged or abnormal labor
- Your doctor administered a muscle-relaxing anesthetic
- You have delivered over five infants
- Your uterus stretched too much
Your doctor should be prepared for these eventualities since there may be no way to predict whether you will lose more blood than normal. Numerous treatments may help your uterus begin contracting again such as uterine massage, intravenous Pitocin or some other procedure, including inflating a balloon in your uterus to compress the blood vessels.
What else could cause excessive bleeding?
The failure of your uterus to contract is only the most common reason for excessive bleeding. Other causes such as those listed below could also cause it:
- A bleeding disorder that interferes with or prevents clotting
- A cut or torn vagina or cervix
- A piece of the placenta remains in the uterus after delivery
- Infected tissues around the fetus that cause endometriosis
Uterine fibroids may increase the risk of bleeding too much as well. Rarely, a woman's uterus will rupture or turn inside out during delivery. Your doctor should take a full medical history or conduct tests in order to rule out any condition that may cause you to bleed excessively after delivery. Moreover, your doctor should monitor you closely after delivery.
What happens if my doctor fails to address the problem?
If your doctor fails to make sure that you do not lose too much blood after your delivery, it could turn into a life-threatening situation. You may end up remaining in the hospital for an extended period and may even need a blood transfusion. You could need far longer to recover as well.
If your doctor or the other medical staff attending to you after your birth failed to provide you with the appropriate standard of care, you may be able to pursue compensation for the harm and damages you suffer by filing a medical malpractice claim.