Research reveals concerning childbirth trends

May 23, 2018, La Trobe University
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

New research from La Trobe University has raised concern about the number of Victorian women suffering potentially dangerous levels of blood loss after childbirth.

Published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, the research found the rate of or childbirth haemorrhage had increased by 50 per cent relative to rate in Victoria between 2003 and 2013. Blood transfusions, admissions to intensive care or high dependency units and hysterectomies also rose.

Postpartum haemorrhage is excessive blood loss in the first 24 hours following birth.

Researchers from La Trobe University's Judith Lumley Centre in the School of Nursing and Midwifery used data from the Victorian Perinatal Data Collection to conduct the first in-depth analysis of postpartum haemorrhage since 2002.

Lead researcher Margaret Flood said their research found one in five (21.8 per cent) women who gave birth in Victoria between 2009 and 2013 had primary postpartum haemorrhage, while one in 71 women (1.4 per cent) experienced severe primary postpartum haemorrhage.

"Excessive loss following childbirth is a leading cause of maternal deaths worldwide," Ms Flood said.

"While death is relatively rare in Australia, the impact on women and their families can be substantial."

The research found women who had an unassisted vaginal birth had the lowest incidence of primary postpartum haemorrhage, while who had a caesarean birth had the highest. Those who had forceps births had the highest incidence of severe postpartum .

The researchers recommended maternity health providers conduct drills, establish response teams and review management protocols and documentation to address the concerning trend.

"Our findings support the need for vigilance in the early postpartum period to enable clinicians to promptly detect and initiate treatment for excessive ," Ms Flood said.

Explore further: Review finds more effective drugs to stop bleeding after childbirth

Related Stories

Review finds more effective drugs to stop bleeding after childbirth

April 26, 2018
New evidence from a Cochrane review published today, led by a University of Birmingham scientist, suggests that alternative drugs may be more effective than the standard drug currently used to stop women bleeding after childbirth.

ACOG committee recommends better, ongoing postpartum care

April 26, 2018
(HealthDay)—Postpartum care should become an ongoing process rather than a single visit in order to optimize the health of women and infants, according to a Committee Opinion published in the May issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Severe maternal complications less common during home births

June 13, 2013
Women with low risk pregnancies who choose to give birth at home have a lower risk of severe complications than women who plan a hospital birth, finds a study published in BMJ today.

Research to save mothers from deadly haemorrhage

August 14, 2015
While Australia may be one of the safest places on earth to give birth, new research is now focussing on severe postpartum haemorrhage which continues to be a rare and mysterious killer.

Postpartum depression risk, duration and recurrence

September 26, 2017
Postpartum affective disorder (AD), including postpartum depression (PPD), affects more than one in two hundred women with no history of prior psychiatric episodes, and raises the risk of later affective disorder for those ...

Low cost, easy to administer drug may be the key to preventing maternal deaths

January 29, 2018
Postpartum hemorrhage (major blood loss after labor and birth) is the leading cause of maternal mortality worldwide, accounting for approximately one-quarter of all maternal deaths. In a study to be presented at the Society ...

Recommended for you

Better studies needed on effectiveness of fertility awareness-based methods for contraception

August 10, 2018
A new systematic review provides the most comprehensive assessment to date on the scientific evidence estimating the effectiveness of various fertility awareness-based methods (FABMs) for contraception. "Effectiveness of ...

Inducing labor at 39 weeks reduces likelihood of C-sections

August 8, 2018
Inducing labor in healthy first-time mothers in the 39th week of pregnancy results in lower rates of cesarean sections compared with waiting for labor to begin naturally at full term, according to a multicenter study funded ...

Three-dimensional model of human placenta developed

August 3, 2018
The placenta is the organ connecting mother and embryo. Its main functions are the exchange of nutrients, gases and metabolic products and the production of hormones and other substances essential for embryonic development. ...

Pregnant women encouraged to eat cold-water fish

August 3, 2018
Pregnant women who had low plasma levels of long-chain n-3 fatty acids in their first and second trimesters were at a significantly higher risk of early preterm birth when compared with women who had higher levels of these ...

Prescribing aspirin in early pregnancy could be key in battle against pre-eclampsia

August 2, 2018
The current approach in Ireland of screening expectant mothers for pre-eclampsia after they show early signs of the condition may not offer the best outcome for mothers and babies.

Scientists identify biomarkers to detect and prevent stillbirth

July 25, 2018
New biomarkers found in maternal blood may allow doctors to prevent stillbirth, according to new research at the University of Alberta.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.