relationship between anesthesia and heavier PP bleeding? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 05-28-2008, 03:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My sister-in-law is a nurse and she's just started working in mother-baby. She says there's a correlation (though not proven, she says) between mothers who don't have any anesthesia and heavier bleeding post partum, including hemorrhage.

Has anyone noticed a relationship? Or is there any good information either way?

Catherine, mama to Preschooler Girl 9/08, and Toddler Boy 3/11

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#2 of 7 Old 05-28-2008, 04:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by VeganCupcake View Post
My sister-in-law is a nurse and she's just started working in mother-baby. She says there's a correlation (though not proven, she says) between mothers who don't have any anesthesia and heavier bleeding post partum, including hemorrhage.

Has anyone noticed a relationship? Or is there any good information either way?

My pp bleeding with my first was 1000cc in the hospital.

After my hb it was 250cc

Neither one was medicated. I think it has more to do with how my third stage of labor was "managed" In the hospital it was actively managed. Cutting cord immeditaly, the doctor Pulled on cord with her full body weight, forceful "purple" pushing, being flat on my back, being stressed out in labor, all probably contributed to my bleeding.

Heather Mike Married 8/1/99 Mom to Charlotte Aug 04, Nov 06, and Katherine Oct 07
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#3 of 7 Old 05-28-2008, 08:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by VeganCupcake View Post
My sister-in-law is a nurse and she's just started working in mother-baby. She says there's a correlation (though not proven, she says) between mothers who don't have any anesthesia and heavier bleeding post partum, including hemorrhage.

Has anyone noticed a relationship? Or is there any good information either way?

I was at an unmedicated hospital birth where the OB said that she has noticed a lot less bleeding with women who didn't have epidurals. I wonder if there's been any studies on it!

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Keith, Henry and Caroline
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#4 of 7 Old 05-28-2008, 08:52 PM
 
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I was at an unmedicated hospital birth where the OB said that she has noticed a lot less bleeding with women who didn't have epidurals. I wonder if there's been any studies on it!
My guess is that it's more likely related to augmentation of labor with pitocin for those who have epidurals, which is a common practice.

The contractile effect of pitocin has a very short half life, minutes, but there is a relaxant part of pitocin that can last for days. So once the contractile effects of pitocin are gone there can be a problem with increased bleeding. One of the reasons you often see pitocin continued for a few hours after the birth.

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#5 of 7 Old 06-07-2008, 11:39 AM
 
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I had my first epidural with my 5th birth. My previous 4 births were no interventions, non medicated..no hemmorrage but I did bleed heavy, I think. After my 5th (with epidural) I had a severe hemmorrage. There was nothing to precipitate it as far as cord yanking or anything..it was quite scary for me personally but a learning experience. While studying through the Lamaze Passion for Birth study guide, I have been reading a lot more about the hormonal cocktails of pregnancy and birth. I am starting to think that the epidural affected the catecholamine and endorphin release rate as well as other hormonal receptors like the oxytocin/stretch receptors in the lower uterus/cervical area, etc. to perhaps contribute to the hemmorage that may not have happened if everything had progressed without being interfered with. I did not have pitocin. Labor began on its own. No yanking of the cord/placenta, etc. The Dr. went to leave the room and the nurse called him back once she realized my uterus kept bogging up with blood and would not stay contracted. It took several different medications and procedures, and about 2 hours or so to get it stabilized. (I was quite thankful for my diligence with nutrition prenatally, postpartum..I think that is what saved me from a transfusion). The balance of chemicals and hormones is quite delicate..I have no doubt that adding an epidural to the mix has to effect that in some way..it likely varies from woman to woman but I don't think we can claim it has no effect, ya know? All that said, at this time I still think I made the right choice to have an epidural for my particular situation at the time. I don't think most women are fully informed of how an epidural can effect their labors/births/postpartums.

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#6 of 7 Old 06-08-2008, 02:17 PM
 
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My guess is that it's more likely related to augmentation of labor with pitocin for those who have epidurals, which is a common practice.

The contractile effect of pitocin has a very short half life, minutes, but there is a relaxant part of pitocin that can last for days. So once the contractile effects of pitocin are gone there can be a problem with increased bleeding. One of the reasons you often see pitocin continued for a few hours after the birth.
On top of that, having pitocin (and an epidural!) messes with the bodies own production and utilization of oxytocin.

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#7 of 7 Old 06-08-2008, 06:07 PM
 
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Would anesthesia affect the uterus's ability to contract and stop the bleeding? I'm sure there are other contributors in medical childbirth, but it would make sense that anesthesia could interfere with the natural process.

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