Earlier in 2017, 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.
Her beautiful daughter.
According to Penang Kini, the late Azian died after suffering from a postpartum hemorrhage. 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 hemorrhage?
According to Dr Muhammad Izzat Abdul Razak, an obstetrician and gynecologist, heavy bleeding after delivery or postpartum hemorrhage 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 the vagina or perineum.
There are two types postpartum hemorrhage:
- Primary postpartum hemorrhage – occurs within the first 24 hours after delivery (Usually while you are still in the hospital)
- Secondary postpartum hemorrhage – occurs between 24 hours up to 6 weeks after delivery. (Usually when you’re already at home)
However, a major postpartum hemorrhage might happen when blood loss is up to 500 ml. for normal delivery and 1 liter for cesarean 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 hemorrhage),
- Have low-lying placenta,
- Giving birth via cesarean,
- Induction of labour,
- Injury during assisted birth – such as forceps or vacuums,
- Big baby with more than 4 kg.,
- Prior bleeding (from previous delivery),
- Giving birth more than 5 times
Be aware of these symptoms
The complication of postpartum hemorrhage might call for a removal of your uterus or it could cost your life! As of 2005, data collection has concluded that almost 14% of deaths after delivery were caused by postpartum hemorrhage.
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 24 hours after delivery:
- A drop in blood pressure
- A rise in pulse rate
- Feeling dizzy, headache and wanting 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 hemorrhage 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 hemorrhage, 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.
Share this article to educate all women out there about this risk of “heavy bleeding after delivery”. Hopefully all you pregnant mommies are getting stronger by the day. And please take care of your health!
photo credit: Penang Kini
Sources: Penang Kini, Baby Center, Post Partum Hemorrhage, and The Malaysian Medical Gazette
READ: Premature baby girl survives meningitis, lung collapse, and a bleeding brain
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