Often times, a great deal of emphasis is placed on pregnancy and birth-related medical care by OB/GYN physicians and other medical professionals. Expecting mothers are educated about the various stages of pregnancy and childbirth, but may not be aware of the many medical concerns and complications that can arise after the birthing processes is over. The unfortunate truth is that postpartum hemorrhaging continues to be a major issue in the U.S., resulting in serious injuries and deaths every year.
According to the babycenter.com, a postpartum hemorrhage can occur immediately after giving birth or in the days or weeks following delivery. A postpartum hemorrhage is characterized as excessive blood loss, and is often caused by the uterus failing to contract properly after the placenta separates and is delivered. Other causes for postpartum hemorrhaging can include but are not limited to:
- Vaginal or perineum tears
- A large episiotomy
- An inverted or ruptured uterus
- Cervical lacerations
Strict monitoring is necessary to detect for postpartum hemorrhaging immediately following childbirth. Multiple treatment options, including uterine massaging, blood transfusions, and hysterectomy surgeries, are available to treat postpartum hemorrhages. However, attending medical physicians and support staff must be able to accurately identify presenting signs and symptoms of excessive blood loss and related complications.
Unfortunately, there is evidence to suggest that many postpartum injuries and pregnancy related complications are not properly identified or treated in the U.S. The AWHONN Postpartum Hemorrhage Project explains that almost 3 percent of childbirths result in postpartum hemorrhaging in the United States, and that there has been an exponential increase in postpartum blood transfusions within the past decade. These estimates are especially concerning considering that the U.S. ranked 47 out of 50 for countries with the highest maternal mortality rates.