Postpartum haemorrhage affects too many mothers

According to new patient information published by FIGO National Member Society the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), postpartum haemorrhage - where bleeding after delivery is heavier than normal - affects approximately one in 20 mothers.

Most women experience bleeding after giving birth. This usually begins quite heavily but will subside with time. When the rate of blood loss gives cause for concern, this is called postpartum haemorrhage and must be treated quickly.

The patient information gives advice on minimising the risks of postpartum haemorrhage and outlines measures that can be taken to stop the bleeding.

"Doctors and midwives are trained in controlling heavy bleeding and in the majority of cases it will settle with simple measures," said Philippa Marsden, chair of the RCOG's Patient Information Committee.

RCOG Women's Network chair Cath Broderick added that while the new information would be useful for concerned mothers, it was "not intended to replace the advice of a doctor or midwife".