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Postpartum Hemorrhage

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Aug 31, 2022.

Postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) is the loss of large amounts of blood after delivery. Most common is early PPH. It happens within 24 hours of delivery. The risk for PPH is greatest within the first hour after delivery. Delayed or late PPH happens 25 hours to 6 weeks after delivery. PPH can be life-threatening no matter when it happens.


Call your doctor if:

  • You urinate little or not at all.
  • You have a fever or chills.
  • You have bad smelling vaginal discharge.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.


  • Use a sitz bath if directed. A warm sitz bath can help decrease pain. To take a sitz bath, fill a bathtub with 4 to 6 inches of clear, warm water. You may also use a sitz bath pan that fits inside the toilet. Sit in the sitz bath for 20 minutes. Do this 2 to 3 times a day, or as directed. The warm water can help decrease pain and swelling.
  • Eat healthy foods. Healthy meals can help you recover and support milk production if you breastfeed. Your healthcare provider may also have you take vitamins, including pregnancy vitamins and iron. Talk with him or her before you take any vitamins or supplements.
    Healthy Foods
  • Ease back into your routines. Allow for periods of rest. Ask others for help.
  • Follow any restrictions given by your healthcare provider. Ask when it is safe for you to drive, walk up stairs, lift heavy objects, and have sex. Also ask when it is safe to use tampons.

Follow up with your doctor or obstetrician as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.