A Prolonged Condition
The effects and deaths caused by postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) are not exclusive to the act of childbirth.
PPH can cause damage and fatal consequences weeks after childbirth occurs. Postpartum hemorrhaging can still impact women up to 12 weeks after giving birth.
In order to prevent bleeding after birth, specific medical measures must be taken prior to, during, and after childbirth. See the full breakdown below.
The Golden Minute
The "golden minute" refers to the first 60 seconds of a newborn baby's life, after they have fully left the birth canal.
While often used in reference to preventing birth asphyxia, the golden minute is also a crucial timeframe for the mothers as well as their children. These processes, detailed in the Action Plan below, outline what must be done in order to ensure the safest conditions possible for the mother and to prevent as much bleeding after birth as possible.
Stop The Bleeding Quickly
The risk of PPH is highest in the first one-two hours after birth, and careful monitoring of every new mother in this period is essential.
When PPH is discovered, it is essential to act quickly. Severe blood loss can happen in a matter of minutes. Scientists are also increasingly confirming that a big bleeding secondarily will deplete the mother of her clotting factors – instead of having only e.g. atonic bleeding, she will very soon also have a secondary blood clotting problem, that is much more difficult to treat.
There is thus a big need to monitor the woman carefully postpartum, and stop excessive bleeding at once. This is done by the interventions of the action plan, in rapid succession. A quick set of interventions leads to much higher chance of survival.
Preventing Unpredictable, Preventable Deaths
Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to predict an instance of PPH prior to it occuring. With that in mind, it is all the more important that medical professionals and caretakers enact everything they can to help prevent PPH deaths during birth, and those after birth.
The action plan above outlines a viable and effective method to proactively preventing bleeding after birth in mothers. By following the action plan above, as well as referring to our continually expanding resource list through our site and our affiliate partner sites, medical professionals can access the resources they need to conduct smarter and safer procedures.