Postpartum Hemorrhage

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If you are giving birth at home, it is important to be aware of the symptoms of a possible hemorrhage.

Hemorrhaging is a serious concern in at-home miscarriage, and may be enough reason for your care provider to discourage you from attempting to complete your miscarriage at home.

Generally, you will probably be cautioned that filling a regular-absorbancy maxi pad sooner than one hour, at any time, is cause of concern; immediately postpartum (that is, right after the baby is born), generally speaking you should not fill a regular-absorbancy maxi pad sooner than a half-hour in the first hour (so, you can go through 2 pads in the first hour postpartum), as it is common to experience some increased bleeding at the actual time of delivery.

An at-home aid in reducing blood loss may be found in a small amount of apple vinegar.  This is something best discussed with your care provider while you are still laboring and before the birth.

If at any time you fill a maxi pad sooner than a half hour, experience dizziness, or a racing heart, you should consult a medical professional immediately.

If you are soaking through a maxi pad sooner than recommended by your medical provider, you need to seek medical attention (if you cannot reach your provider, please go to your nearest emergency room) immediately.

Medications that may be prescribed to help control the postpartum hemorrhage include:

  • Misoprostol
  • Methylergonovine

Misoprostol (a prostaglandin) causes your uterus to contract, so that your baby can be delivered.  In addition, the prostaglandin works to block a hormone (progesterone) from completing its pregnancy function of supporting the uterine lining that the baby has been growing in.  This will stop your body’s efforts of sustaining the pregnancy.  “Cytotec” is one prescription name used, and misoprostol is said to have about an 80-90% effectiveness rate in delivering miscarried babies and completely expelling all of the placenta pieces.  It is considered more effective than methylergonovine, but is not FDA approved for this use.  For this reason, mothers may wish to request “Methergine” if it is considered a safer option by their provider.

Methylergonovine, commonly prescribed as “Methergine” is also a uterotonic; it causes your uterus to contract, which can shorten the duration of the delivery process, thus stopping the homorrhaging.

Your doctor will discuss with you the side effects and warning signs to look out for when taking these medications, and the amount of time it should take to complete the entire process.

Please visit our Levels of Augmentation article on herbal and natural alternatives to medications to help augment/speed up the time of the delivery of your miscarried baby.

(Click here to be taken back to the article on natural miscarriage or to the article on artificial induction.)

Postpartum (all birth methods)

It is important to take care of yourself, both physically and emotionally, following a pregnancy loss.  Regardless of the kind of pregnancy loss or the birth method you’ve used, it is important to replenish lost vitamins from blood loss and the birth.  Here are a few helpful tips:

  • Continue taking your prenatal vitamin.
  • Ask your provider about floradix, hemoplex or chlorophyll, as these are said to have nourishing properties that can aid in replenishing lost iron and providing additional oxygenation to your blood.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Salty broths can be satisfying and aid in lost iron.
  • Vitamin C can help your body better absorb iron.
  • Getting sunshine (even a one time trip to a tanning spa if it’s winter) can help invigorate you.
  • See the rest of our postpartum health tips.
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