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is it normal to bleed during labour?

(59 Posts)
aloha Fri 04-Mar-05 15:15:08

Am getting up energy to write a letter of complaint re my treatment in labour - ie completely ignored and left entirely alone and my dh sent home, despite being in agony and having had a previous c/s. I was also bleeding and this scared me as I had no idea if it was normal or not. The midwife on duty overnight seemed to be able to completely ignore me quite happily so I never got an answer from her. I got the impression that she didn't believe me and kept saying it was just a show, despite the fact that I'd had one of those nearly a week earlier. Anyway, just trying to find out if it is normal or not.
Also, any tips on who to complain to would be welcome. Thanks.

popsycal Fri 04-Mar-05 15:16:34

I was induced but didnt have any bleeding at all until actually at the pushing stage.

Good luck wth your complaint

hows the babe?

aloha Fri 04-Mar-05 15:18:34

Gorgeous and, of course, asleep! All the children at ds's nursery crowded round her pram today to look at her. Very sweet.

fastasleep Fri 04-Mar-05 15:19:21

I didn't bleed in any noticable way until afterwards I think I lost about 100mls when my DS came out.... I'd be scared s*tless if I was bleeding all the way through....poor you

mummytosteven Fri 04-Mar-05 15:19:43

I don't think it is normal to bleed during labour - my friend bled quite a lot during labour, and her DH asked this question, and was told that it wasn't normal.

best of luck with the complaint. you may want to get the head midwife to go through notes of your treatment whilst in labour to explain from their perspective whta happened and why.

morningpaper Fri 04-Mar-05 15:19:55

I bled during labour, yes, like a heavy period.

aloha Fri 04-Mar-05 15:21:08

Were you told this was OK MP?

morningpaper Fri 04-Mar-05 15:22:34

Didn't ask Aloha, to be really honest I was too busy screaming my head off and begging for mercy from passers by.

uwila Fri 04-Mar-05 15:31:29

Aloha, the only thing Iknow about this is that one person told me she was bleeding inlabour, and the medical staff couldn't figure out why (which seems to suggest it isn't normal if they were trying to figure out why). She ended up in caesarean (no idea if that was related to the bleeding), but after the caesarean they told her the bleeding was because the placenta had started to come away during labour.

If you are going to submit a complaint, I would go straight to the PCT. I would definitely not bother with midwives. They might sit down and review your notes with you. But, I get the impression that you want something done about the way they treat women in labour, and not that you want to understand or feel better about your own.

I never really understand why when I have a problem they want to review notes. I don't want to feel better about it, I want then to change the way they treat people.

Amanda3266 Fri 04-Mar-05 15:33:25

Hi aloha,

From my midwifery days (three years ago now so mears may be more up to date). Yes it CAN be normal to bleed in labour - you can have some bleeding of varying degree from around the cervix and some women continue to have a mucously blood loss (rather like a show) all through labour. This does not, of course, excuse the midwife for ignoring you all night and it's inexcusable that she did not explain this to you.
Best person to complain to is the Midwifery Unit Manager who should deal with your complaint within a set period of time. Usually by getting statements from the people involved.
Hope that helps


lockets Fri 04-Mar-05 15:34:04

Message withdrawn

hatsoff Fri 04-Mar-05 15:35:28

Hi Aloha - don't know if it's normal or not but I had similar with dd1 (not the bleeding, I mean the rest) - they sent dh home, kept me in to "keep an eye on me" (pah!) coz ny bp was a bit high, then gave me tamezepem and abandoned me - spent the first few hours of labour terried and alone. Even fell asleep on my own in the bath (under the influence of the tampezepam). So I have huge sympathy. What is it with midwives sending dhs home - coz they'd be better off getting sleep etc etc. Absolute codswallop. excuse me, I'm the one in pain, I'm the one doing this birthing lark and he'd be better off WITH ME. Maybe they send them home coz they get in the way. Sorry, just (nearly 5 years later!) got me feeling angry again. Partly with myself for being a bit pathetic and doing things their way. So I have no idea what the point of my post was...except to say your treatment is not unusal and I think what you should do is request your notes - there is a particular way of doing this that gets results - the NCT do a leaflet to tell you how to word a request and who to send it to. then you can send a wel-informed complaint iyswim

Amanda3266 Fri 04-Mar-05 15:35:56

Yes - should add that fresh blood loss is not usually normal - a mucously loss (sometimes with heaviesh blood staining) can be normal though. Constant trickling of fresh blood should ring alarm bells.

morningpaper Fri 04-Mar-05 15:38:43

Yes I would describe mine as thick and mucousy

(how glamorous)

lockets Fri 04-Mar-05 15:40:30

Message withdrawn

nellie245 Fri 04-Mar-05 15:50:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

jabberwocky Fri 04-Mar-05 16:00:19

aloha, I bled a lot during labour. At first they kept telling me it was normal but it got very bad and they seemed to take a bit more notice after that. However, they still waited 12 or more hours (can't remember now, it all gets fuzzy you know) before finally agreeing to get a c-section consult. I do think that my excessive bleeding was a sign that something was wrong and should have been taken more seriously at the time.

aloha Fri 04-Mar-05 17:12:18

Yes, I do want there to be a change in the way they treat women. Also for them to realise that it is DANGEROUS to ignore women in labour (esp previous c-section) and refuse to admit them to the labour ward.
My bleeding was definitely fresh blood - not muscusy and bright red, plus dollops of blood going down the loo (tmi?). It was scary.
And I wasn't dilating too quickly at all. After seven or so hours of great pain to agony, I was 2-3cm dilated. I also couldn't get over to them that I wasn't very interested in being in labour or how far I was along - I wanted my planned and agreed section! It was like being the invisible (and unhearable) woman. It was genuinely like a bad dream - it had a surreally awful quality.

aloha Fri 04-Mar-05 17:13:19

hatsoff - this really shouldn't happen to anyone, yet it seems to happen quite a lot. It's shocking, I think.

jabberwocky Fri 04-Mar-05 17:31:17

I still can't believe they allowed you to labour like that when you were a scheduled c-section. Really, really awful IMO. I think the only reason I got any attention at all about my bleeding was because I had hired a doula and I called her into the bathroom to look at how much blood was in the toilet. I could tell she was shocked. but, the only thing that happened was that I got checked for placenta previa. When that was negative, they just said "Continue on" still without realizing ds was frank breech!!

SeaShells Fri 04-Mar-05 17:42:17

I had a similar experience to hatsoff, I was in absolute agony for days and was just not dilating despite really agonising contractions, eventually went to hospital, and they sent DP home and left me alone in the dark in a room all alone, and when I begged for some water and pain relief they took over an hour to bring it to me! I cried my eyes out that DP was sent home, I felt so alone and scared. The next day they sent me home!?! An hour later an ambulance had to take me back to hospital as I was in full labour and screaming that I wanted to die, I was in so much pain! I've never forgotten how upset and angry it made me, they didn't seem to listen to a word I said. Still upsets me now

puddle Fri 04-Mar-05 17:43:03

Aloha I bled during first labour. And was left alone too - they sent my dp home (it was 11.00pm) and refused to believe that I had started labour at all - I was in quite a lot of pain. It was my first so felt very inconfident in dealing with the staff - ended up agreeing to take a sleeping pill as they said I needed to calm down and sleep! Couldn't believe in retrospect how unassertive I'd been. needless to say the pill had no effect on me but sent ds to sleep - when they finally accepted I needed to go to the delivery ward and started to monitor him and me they panicked because he was so dozy....I complained to the Head of Midwifery at the Homerton. My sister is a midwife and she was outraged at my experience by the way. Sorry you had such a horrid experience - congratulations on your daughter.

HappyMumof2 Fri 04-Mar-05 18:56:31

Message withdrawn

hatsoff Fri 04-Mar-05 19:05:29

sorry Aloha - don;t want to hijack but this is bringing back such sad thoughts. Puddle and Seashells - I too look back and think, how did I let them treat me like that? And when I eventually rang for some help and asked for gas and air - it took them over an hour. It was the most emotionally intense few hours of my life ever. My dd was born on my brother's birthday and my brother was adopted back in the days when his biological mum probably didn;t get much say in the matter, so there I was sobbing my heart out for a woman I never knew, for the pain my parents had gone through to have a family, for my other brother and his wife who deperately wanted a family, for my mum who's heart was broken when dad left and, thanks to some arsey midwife I was ALONE. I know all that might sound ott. but the emotional impact of early labour is huge and underestimated and how anyone can say it was better for my dh to go home, I will never fathom.

Amanda3266 Fri 04-Mar-05 19:05:33

It was like being the invisible (and unhearable) woman. It was genuinely like a bad dream - it had a surreally awful quality.


Make sure you highlight this in your complaint - no excuse for this kind of treatment at all.


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