I am expecting our second child and would love to have another home-birth.  However, my husband is a little leery of doing another home birth because I hemorrhaged during the home birth of our first child.  We'd both like to learn more about WHY I hemorrhaged before he feels comfortable going ahead with another home birth.  So here's my birth story in a nutshell and some questions for you all.  Two days before giving birth to our son, I came down with a stomach flu.  I could not keep anything down for 1-1/2 days--food or liquids.  Then I was able to eat supper and drink some liquids and keep them down.  Active labor started late that night.  The next day (at 41 weeks, 4 days), our son was born, and as his head was crowning, blood started coming down over his head.  After he was born, I lost about 1 liter/quart of blood before it could be stopped.  Having lost so much blood caused me to go into shock and also caused me to get mentally confused, at which point I was transported to the hospital.  Our question is "WHY did I hemorrhage?"  We heard it could have been because of me being dehydrated from having the flu, and me being dehydrated somehow caused my placenta to prematurely partially detach--which is why I bled so much.  Is this correct?  Has this ever happened to anyone else?  Could there have been a different cause why I bled?  Is there a term for this?  And is this something that is likely to happen with our next birth?  Any ideas, info, help, answers would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you!

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I've worked as a L&D nurse for about 10yrs & had my 1st HB 3mos ago. I've never known a woman to hemorrage due to dehydration. From what u described it sounds like your placenta started to separate too early (abrupt). Abruptions have many causes. Infection is one.
I had pp hem too with baby #2 (both kids were hb's and I'm due with #3 any day...planned hb). I feel mine was a combo of large baby (11 lbs 6 oz) and large placenta (which left a large detachment area in my uterus...bigger than average let's say...and thus more area to bleed). In addition, I drank a TON of water during my 5 hour labor...A TON...and I didn't have the urge to urinate until 7 hours pp. When I did urinate, my bladder deflated rapidly which made room for my uterus to decend into my pelvis and at the same time it contracted vigorously and I lost a lot of blood, passed out etc. (If I had had the urge to urinate sooner, this could have potentially been avoided...with #3 I am planning on being on that toilet nonstop!!!) And I did transfer at that point. I too was a bit mentally confused (some say I still am!) and just weak. In addition, I feel like the pph was a physical manifestation of a very stressful, unhappy pgy (rel'p issues with the father...that's another Oprah).

I asked the same questions as you when I found out I was pg with #3...are my chances increased for a repeat pph? What I learned was that NO they are not and there are simple things I can do to strengthen my uterus. I have been drinking red raspberry leaf tea like crazy this pg, eating lots of dark. leafy greens, and simply do not think I am growing as big a baby this time. My emotions are much, much better (loving relp with new daddy) and I am happy this time and that alone has made a world of difference for me.

It is scary and it still lingers in my mind from time to time but I just think if it happens again, i'll transfer and that will be that. But I just don't see it happening again. And for me, that's half the battle.
A big baby or alot of amniotic fluid can cause the uterus to over stretch during the pregnancy and have a hard time contracting down after the birth. How big was your baby? Were you ever diagnosed with polyhydramnios?

Sometime the length of the labor can cause the uterus (and the momma) to get tired and have a hard time contracting down after the birth. Red raspberry LEAF tea can help or a proactive use of oxytocic agents (herbs, homeopathics, pharmaceuticals) can help.

Sometimes there is an undetected portion of the placenta or membranes that get left inside that keeps the uterus from contracting down effectively. It can be undetected because the mom may eventually pass it along with the lochia and may confuse the tissue with a blood clot.

A commonly overlooked cause of pp hem are cervical, vaginal or perineal lacerations. Did you need any repair work after the birth?

As far as abruption of the placenta, that is mostly associated with high blood pressure, maternal smoking/street drug use, poor nutrition, infection, blunt trauma to the pregnant belly, sudden decrease in uterine size (such as rupture of membranes with polyhydramnios), etc. Since dehydration cause one's pulse to go up as a compensatory mechanism, it would make sense that blood pressure might go up as well, causing the abruption if sustained for too long...?
Thank you, ladies! I appreciate all the input! Candace, my baby was 9 lbs. 6 oz., so he was big! I was never diagnosed with polyhydramnios. I did have a few vaginal tears, but I chose not to get stitches since it was thought I didn't really need them. Thanks for all your help!
I had pph with my first that was due to MANY cervical and vaginal tears. I had to have lots of stitches to stop the bleeding and a couple of shots to help with clotting. It was completely unexpected, as usual. I asked my dr about it and his reply was: the bleeding was from tissue tears and there is no way to know if it will happen again. I delivered baby #2 with no pph a year ago.

There is no fact to this but I believe I had bleeding and tears because my dr induced me at 41 weeks (being my first, I unfortunately did not know any better). I feel like my body wasn't ready to deliver and the placenta wasn't ready to release. My second, I delivered naturally at 42 weeks with only 2 pushes and no complications.

Stay positive and imagine the birth you want to have. Getting rid of the worrisome thoughts is half the battle but the hardest part. Good Luck!
Hi Olivia:

There could be a number of reasons why you experienced hemorrhaging. This is something that is probably best explored in a holistic health consultation. By working with a qualified holistic health professional, you'll be able to zone in on the possible root cause and work on therapeutic ways to care for your (pregnant) body and safely prepare for your second baby.

Sending my best to you and family,

Founder/Organic Mommy & Baby Healthcare Solutions



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