A medical condition that typically occurs shortly after delivering a baby that is characterized by excessive blood loss in the mother. Although mothers will endure some blood loss during childbirth, this condition results in an abnormal amount of blood lost, with more serious implications.
This condition is called a primary hemorrhage when it occurs within the first 24 hours after childbirth. It is called secondary (or delayed) when it occurs between 24 hours to six weeks after childbirth.
An obstetric hemorrhage can be caused by a multitude of factors, including giving birth to a large baby, developing a uterine infection, having a bleeding disorder or experiencing some type of birth trauma.
Heavy vaginal bleeding is the primary indicator of this condition, but patients may also have a decreased blood pressure, swelling and pain in the vaginal area and an increased heart rate.
To treat an obstetric hemorrhage, your physician may recommend certain surgical procedures to repair any tears or wounds causing the bleeding, fluids and medication.