Chapter 22: Helping a woman after a pregnancy ends early
It is normal to bleed about the same amount as regular monthly bleeding for a few
days after a miscarriage or abortion. Some women keep bleeding a small amount
for up to 2 weeks. After a couple of days, the blood should be dark, not bright red.
More bleeding than this is not normal and could be dangerous. If a woman is
bleeding a lot after an abortion, especially if the blood is bright red and has few clots,
it means the blood is fresh and flowing. She is in danger and the bleeding must be
stopped. If she keeps bleeding she could go into shock (page 414) or even die.
Women bleed too much after an abortion or miscarriage when:
• the womb does not contract normally.
• tissue is left inside the womb.
• there is an injury inside the body (see page 413).
A woman can help herself if she is bleeding heavily
If a woman is bleeding and she is by herself with no one to
help her, she can try to stop the bleeding herself. This method
is probably not enough to stop the bleeding, but it may
slow it down.
Help the womb contract by rubbing the lower belly
very hard while lying down or squatting. If there is tissue in the
womb, a woman may be able to push it out by bearing down as
if she is having a bowel movement or pushing a baby out.
To help a woman who is bleeding
1. Help stop the bleeding by emptying the womb (see page 407).
I need to empty
your womb to
make the bleeding
stop. It will not
A Book for Midwives (2010)