I am bleeding!
Bleeding in pregnancy is not normal except for a small amount with mucous heralding the onset of labour (called a ‘show’).
In early pregnancy bleeding is usually due to threatened miscarriage and is covered in question on ‘Miscarriage’.
In more advanced pregnancy it is commonly due to rupture of a vessel at the edge of the placenta (marginal sinus rupture), a degree of placental separation (placental abruption) or the placenta being low lying (placenta praevia).
What can be done?
Contact me or the Labour Ward/Birth Unit midwife (if you are in advanced pregnancy).
If you contact me directly I may ask you to attend my surgery or the Labour Ward/Birth Unit of the hospital where you are booked to have your baby. This will be to determine the cause of the bleeding and to check your well being and your baby’s well being.
The midwife you speak to at the Labour Ward/Birth Unit may ask you to attend to check your well being and your baby’s well being.
At the hospital you and your baby’s well being will be assessed by history taking, physical examination of you, a cardiotocogram (CTG) to check of your baby’s well being and contraction monitoring, and possibly blood tests and an ultrasound scan.
What then happens is determined by the findings. The options range from going home to urgent delivery. But bring a change of clothing and underwear and toiletries in case you are asked to stay.