how do you know when there's too much bleeding? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 11 Old 01-16-2005, 11:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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how can you determine if you are losing too much blood during/post birth? I have not had a vaginal birth and am wondering how will I know? will I feel faint if there is too much blood loss?

Blissful Mama to DD-(5), DS-(6) and someone new due in November!
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#2 of 11 Old 01-17-2005, 12:41 AM
 
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I'd love to know too!

I had 2 vaginal births but never really paid attention afterword!
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#3 of 11 Old 01-17-2005, 01:10 AM
 
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Hi;

If there is too much bleeding you will often feel short of breath, dizzy, lightheaded, your pulse will be fast, and you will feel weak. Generally speaking, if you are completely soaking a heavy-days pad or a small chux pad in 30 minutes you are bleeding too much. Or passing a blood clot bigger than your fist.

Estimating blood loss is difficult, but if you keep all the towels or whatever you bleed on, you can weigh them to estimate loss 1 gram = 1 ml (minus the weight of the towel). Also you can use a measuring cup. 500 mls or more, or an amount of bleeding that makes you feel unwell, is too much.

But, at the time of birth, blood is often mixed with amniotic fluid, making it trickier to measure. Right after the birth there shouldn't be more than drops of blood coming out at a time-- if there is a steady trickle, it is too much. There will be a separation gush when the placenta is ready to come, but other than that gushes are a no-no. It is common to have little gushes when you get up or change position as the blood that was pooling in your vagina comes out, but if you are laying there or sitting there and there is a steady stream, it is too much.

If you are thinking there is too much blood but you are feeling well, put the baby to the breast or use nipple stimulation to bring your own oxytocin levels up. Also, feel for your fundus (top of the uterus) and make sure it is around your belly button and very hard. If it is soft, rub your belly (if the placenta is out) and make a contraction come. Also, remember to pee shortly after the birth, because a full bladder can impede your uterus from clamping down and keeping the bleeding to a minimum.

If you are feeling any of the symptoms of too much blood loss, call an ambulance right away.


Is that helpful?

Carolynn
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#4 of 11 Old 01-17-2005, 01:17 AM
 
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yes, thank you!

I don't believe there was too much bleeding with Noah. With the twins they applied traction to the cord so gave a preemtory pitocin shot to counteract.

I know with Noah the toilet had a lot of blood on it, but that may well have just been bad aim in sitting down. :LOL

The midwives were here for 3 hours after and never mentioned any excessive bleeding (but wanted me to pee, does that have to do with it?).
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#5 of 11 Old 01-17-2005, 06:17 PM
 
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Carolynn, thank you for such a thorough reply!

I just want to add that light-headedness does not necessarily mean excessive blood loss, but is definitely something that you should pay attention to. Basically you should feel alert and well after a birth. Being tired is normal, as birth usually requires some physical exertion, but feeling sick or weird or "out of it" is not.

Okay, now we need a thread about how to help prevent hemorrhage and what to do if you do think you're bleeding too much.
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#6 of 11 Old 01-17-2005, 08:33 PM
 
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(I thought I did answer what to do if you are bleeding too much!).

As for the lightheadedness, if you are looking at the blood loss thinking, "gosh that's a lot" and you are feeling lightheaded, it would be a sign -- that's what I was trying to convey.

I feel lightheaded a lot, and I am not even pregnant, nevermind bleeding too much! :-)

Carolynn
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#7 of 11 Old 01-17-2005, 09:18 PM
 
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I think she meant more like herbals, homeopathics, placenta-eating, etc.

Personally, I plan on nursing baby asap just like I did with Noah (within 5 minutes of birth if no less). Seems the most prudent thing to me.
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#8 of 11 Old 01-18-2005, 12:21 AM
 
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PPH is aprox 2 cups of liquid or more (at once not over time).. I know that it can be hard to tell..and like said before especially mixed with fluid..but if it prior to the placenta being delivered or even prior to second stage there shouldn't be much amniotic fluid still.. mamas who are worried or in general might want to pour coloured liquid on a chux pad or a sheet or a pad and see what 2 cups looks like...
just my opinion.. when it comes to *treating* a bad bleed.. if it is too the point that beyond just being 'heavy' bleeding and is too the point your thinking uh oh, or this is *too much* blood I would say transfer call 911..
there are herbs.. cayenne tincture directly into the vagina.. shepard's purse tincture under the toungue.. and a lot of mamas swear that eating some placenta will cease event he worst hemorrhage..like mentioned before too of course fundal massage, an empty bladder, allowing the placenta to seperate naturally without manual removal.. nursing (even someone else sucking nipples).. sometimes mamas will bleed prior to the placenta being delivered and it can be due to a partial seperation..
some of the treatments used to treat a fourth stage bleed would be different to treating a bleed if the placenta is not delivered yet.. before the placenta comes too much fundal massage can cause the placenta to detacth unevenly.. bleeding that wont let up but a cord that is not coming (not getting longer) may point to a partially seperated placenta...there are techniques to deliver a partially seperated cord.. but there is some risk (like most risks it is small) of uterine prolapse.. and you should be encouraging the body to contract down still.. not pulling out the placenta ..
i hemorrhaged after my third birth.. I have had successful deliveries at home since without event..I tend to think our bodies left to theri own devices are fine...i htink I bleed too much due to the caregiver at that birth being pushy and not honouring my bodies journey...
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#9 of 11 Old 01-18-2005, 11:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thank you so much for all of this great info. I appreciate it!

Blissful Mama to DD-(5), DS-(6) and someone new due in November!
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#10 of 11 Old 01-19-2005, 12:46 AM
 
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I was a little anemic and since that can cause problems w/PP bleeding, I decided to work on it proactively.

I drank Nettles tea every day
I drank an iron tonic of dandelion root and yellow dock root mixed w/blackstrap molasses daily in my OJ w/chllorophyl as well.
I was prepared to eat my placenta at that moment if it came down to it (ended up making a smoothie an hr or two after the birth).

But for me, this is what helped the most: I was not going to hemorrage.
And I didn't.

Amy
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#11 of 11 Old 01-22-2005, 03:10 AM
 
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a midwife once told me if you can measure the blood in tablespoons its ok... if it seems more like cups of blood that is too much

Jen

Jen Wife to Jason and Mom to Cassidy 10y Malcolm8y & Lucas 5y
living in Canada and Costa Rica and slowly exploring the world
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