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  • 'A Week After My Emergency CS, Bright Red Blood Gushed Out!'

    Postpartum hemorrhage is a condition that warrants immediate medical attention.
    by Rachel Perez .
'A Week After My Emergency CS, Bright Red Blood Gushed Out!'
PHOTO BY iStock
  • Women who have given birth no matter how she delivered her baby will experience lochia, the postpartum vaginal discharge all women who have just given birth no matter how she delivered her baby. This discharge is how your body gets rid of the blood from where the placenta attached itself in the womb. Lochia, also called postpartum period or postpartum bleeding, also contains mucus and tissue from the uterus as it shrinks down to its pre-pregnant size.

    Some moms, however, experience excessive bleeding following the birth of a baby or after the placenta is delivered. It's called postpartum hemorrhage (PPH), and it is more likely with a cesarean birth.

    Stanford Children's Health explains the most common cause of PPH. "Once a baby is delivered, the uterus normally continues to contract (tightening of uterine muscles) and expels the placenta. After the placenta is delivered, these contractions help compress the bleeding vessels in the area where the placenta was attached. If the uterus does not contract strongly enough, called uterine atony, these blood vessels bleed freely and hemorrhage occurs."

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    According to the book What to Expect When You're Expecting, the risk of PPH is higher in women who gave birth to a large baby or multiples. Other possible factors that increase the risk are those who are diagnosed with preeclampsia, have had a quick or prolonged, exhausting, or traumatic delivery, have too much amniotic fluid and placenta issues, and who've had many previous births.

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    We asked moms on our Smart Parenting Village Facebook page if there was anyone who experienced PPH. Four moms shared their stories.

    "My uterus relaxed!"

    Abby Sto Tomas, mom of two, experienced what the American Academy of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) call uterine atony, which means her uterus failed to contract after childbirth.

    "Sa panganay ko, I had heavy bleeding right after my CS. Eight hours after giving birth, my uterus relaxed. They had to hook a second IV in case I needed blood transfusion.

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    "Thankfully, after mag-manual extraction nung doctor on duty, nailabas naman lahat nung blood clots sa loob ng uterus. Then, they put ice packs sa may uterus area and nag-subside naman ang bleeding. It was a scary experience. The pain was almost unbearable habang dinudugo ako. Thankfully, I survived," Abby shared.

    "Fresh, bright red blood gushed out from me!"

    Subinvolution of the uterus is a condition wherein the uterus does not return to its normal size after childbirth. Along with infection and having placental tissues remaining inside the womb, it's a common cause for late/delayed or secondary PPH, which happens within one to two weeks after giving birth. Uterine atony deals with the uterus muscle tone and absence of contractions, while subinvolution is the slower than expected return of the uterus to its original shape.

    Roxann Sia, who had just given birth to her first child six months ago, told us what happened when she had subinvolution of the uterus. "A week after having an emergency CS (ECS), fresh, bright red blood gushed out from me, so I went to a nearby hospital for an emergency checkup. I was immediately admitted to the hospital due to subinvolution of the uterus.

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    "My OB said it was caused by ineffective antibiotics after my operation, and that my baby was too big. He put pressure on my uterus, and I had to take more antibiotics," Roxann said.

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    "I had PPH due to placenta acrreta"

    Placenta accreta is when the placenta plants itself too deeply in a woman's uterus during childbirth. This makes it difficult for the placenta to detach completely after delivery and may cause some placental tissues to be left inside.

    Four years ago, Shiena Rose Castillano-Operario underwent two dilation and curettage (D&C). "After delivering my baby, I had D&C because my placenta was left inside. I heard it was sticky and 'marupok.

    "Three days after being discharged from the hospital, I was rushed to the emergency room on because I was shaking."

    Doctors did a transvaginal ultrasound and discovered that there were still pieces of her placenta left inside her uterus. She needed blood transfusion and to undergo a second D&C immediately.

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    "The procedure was ultrasound-guided to be sure, and I came out of the operating room feeling better."

    Shiena was told there still could be "little placenta bits inside and that it was normal." But hours later, she was shaking as she felt pain in her lower spine.

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    She asked her mom to accompany her to the bathroom. "I had not even reached the toilet bowl when I had the sudden urge to push. I did and, lo and behold, a ball of flesh that's a little bigger than a golf ball dropped on the floor. We panicked, thinking it was my uterus, kidney, or whatever important body part it was," the mom shared. "We should've sued the doctors and the entire hospital for that horror they caused us."

    "They removed my uterus to stop the bleeding."

    "It happened years ago, but until now I still feel the heartbreak from the fact that I will never be able to bear children again. I had PPH after I gave birth to my second child. Within a week after delivering my baby, I bled profusely and was rushed to the hospital. Doctors tried to stop the bleeding to no avail. In the end, they removed my womb to stop the bleeding and save my life. I am thankful for it, of course. But my dream of having a big family is no more," shared Nirah Gelvezon, mom of two.

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    Seek immediate medical attention if you notice these symptoms of PPH:

    • Your postpartum discharge is extra heavy. You're soaking one pad an hour for several hours in a row.
    • Your postpartum discharge is still bright and extra red even after several days post-birth.
    • You're passing a lot of large blood clots, the size of lemons or larger.
    • You feel pain and heaviness or notice swelling in the lower abdominal area.
    • You may also feel faint, breathless, dizzy, or have an increased heart rate due to loss of large amounts of blood.
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