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RCOG release: New patient information on postpartum haemorrhage published

News 5 July 2013

Approximately 1 in 20 women will suffer from heavier than normal bleeding after birth (postpartum haemorrhage) according to new patient information published today by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG).

The new patient information, Heavy bleeding after birth (postpartum haemorrhage): Information for you states that it is normal to bleed after having a baby, initially quite heavily but reducing with time. However sometimes bleeding is much heavier than expected and this is called a postpartum haemorrhage (PPH).

The patient information outlines risk factors associated with postpartum haemorrhage. However even if some of the risk factors apply, it is important to remember that most of these women will not suffer a PPH after giving birth, states the patient information, although if bleeding is heavier than expected it is important to act quickly. The patient information outlines what will happen if PPH occurs and what measures will be taken to stop the bleeding.

The patient information also offers advice on how to reduce the likelihood of postpartum haemorrhage.

Chair of the RCOG’s Patient Information Committee, Philippa Marsden, said:

“It is important to remember that most women will not have a PPH after birth but women should be aware of the possibility. Doctors and midwives are trained in controlling heavy bleeding and in the majority of cases it will settle with simple measures.”

Cath Broderick, Chair of the RCOG Women’s Network added:

“This new information is extremely useful for pregnant women who are concerned about heavy bleeding after birth. The information is clear and concise and explains risk factors, treatment options and procedures so women know what to expect if they suffer from postpartum haemorrhage.

“The information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor or midwife but to help women understand the condition and make informed decisions about treatment.”

Ends

For further information, please contact the RCOG Media and PR team on +44 20 7772 6300 or email pressoffice@rcog.org.uk

Notes

To view Heavy bleeding after birth (Postpartum haemorrhage): Information for you, click here.

This information has been developed by the RCOG Patient Information Committee. It is based on the RCOG guideline Prevention and Management of Postpartum Haemorrhage (published by the RCOG in November 2009, revised in 2011).