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How do I Minimize Blood Loss After a C-Section?

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  • Written By: Madeleine A.
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 24 September 2016
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Avoiding strenuous exercise is one way to minimize blood loss after a c-section. Vigorous activity can loosen or even break sutures and cause significant bleeding. In addition, sutures or stitches are not only present externally, but are also present internally when the uterus is closed after delivery. Therefore, in addition to avoiding strenuous exercising, sexual relations should be avoided until the internal site heals. New mothers should also avoid aspirin and some vitamin supplements to minimize blood loss.

Blood loss after a c-section can be minimized when women refrain from using aspirin products. Aspirin is an anticoagulant, or blood thinner, and can prevent the blood from clotting, causing bleeding. Sometimes, when taking excessive amounts of aspirin for pain relief, bleeding can be so severe that the patient will need emergency treatment to cauterize blood vessels in order to stop the bleeding.

Climbing stairs is also not recommended following a c-section. Blood loss is common in those women who rush to do laundry or other chores that require running up and down the stairs. This, again, can rupture sutures and cause significant bleeding. If the woman needs to go up and down the stairs, she should do so slowly and try to limit the trips she needs to make.

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Carrying heavy items can also increase blood loss after a c-section. This causes straining, and exerts pressure on the surgical site. In addition, not only can the external stitches break apart, internal damage can occur as well. Holding the new baby is important for bonding and feeding, but in the early days following the surgery, it should be done while in a seated position or lying down, to avoid pressure.

Frequently, having a bowel movement after any type of surgical procedure is challenging, but this can be especially true after a c-section. Anesthesia and pain relievers can contribute to constipation, which increases the risk of straining while going to the bathroom. This can cause bleeding because the "bearing down" maneuver can cause stitches to break. A healthcare provider can order a stool softener or mild laxative to prevent straining and constipation, minimizing the risk of blood loss.

Taking certain vitamins and dietary supplements can also thin the blood and encourage blood loss after a c-section. Women should talk to a medical professional before taking vitamin E, fish oil supplements, or garlic supplements following delivery. These supplements can increase blood clotting time and thin the blood, placing the women at risk for greater blood loss. When bleeding becomes prolonged or is severe, a woman should seek medical attention right away.

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