Skip to main content

Blood transfusion, pregnancy and birth

Published: 01/07/2015

It tells you about:

  • Why blood is important
  • Why you may need a transfusion
  • What happens if you need a transfusion

Women may need a blood transfusion for a variety of reasons. One reason is if you haemorrhage (bleed very heavily), this is an emergency situation. As a result of heavy bleeding, you can become severely anaemic. Without a transfusion to replace the blood you have lost, you could become seriously ill or even die.

It is not possible to predict or detect a life-threatening bleed. Medication and surgical techniques will be used to try to limit the need for a blood transfusion. However a blood transfusion might be needed to save your life or to prevent serious harm to your health and your baby’s health.

This patient information leaflet is based on the RCOG clinical guideline Blood Transfusions in Obstetrics, which contains a full list of the sources of evidence used to produce this guidance.

Give us your feedback

If you have recently read one of our leaflets, please give us feedback by completing this short questionnaire