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Active management of the third stage of labor reduces risk of bleeding
Date:11/15/2010

Active management of the third stage of labour means that women lose less blood than with a more expectant approach, reveals a thesis from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, in conjunction with Sahlgrenska University Hospital.

A number of studies in the West have shown that heavy bleeding following childbirth has become more common in recent years. In her thesis, midwife and researcher Elisabeth Jangsten decided to look at how heavily women bleed after giving birth in Angola and Sweden following active and expectant management. The study in Angola covered 1,590 women, while the Swedish study included 1,802. The Swedish study was conducted at two of the delivery units at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, which make use of both active and expectant management.

Active management means that the umbilical cord is clamped straight after the baby is delivered, the midwife gives the mother medication to stimulate uterine contractions, presses a hand on the lower part of the uterus, and pulls gently on the umbilical cord while the mother pushes, so delivering the placenta. With an expectant approach, the umbilical cord is also clamped straight after the baby is delivered, but the midwife then waits for signals that the placenta has separated from the wall of the uterus before encouraging the mother to bear down and push out the placenta. Uterine stimulants are always given if the need arises.

"In Angola, 7.5% of women lost more than a litre of blood in the expectantly managed group, and only 1% in the actively managed group," says Jangsten, a midwife at Sahlgrenska University Hospital/stra Hospital and researcher at the Institute of Health and Care Sciences at the Sahlgrenska Academy. "In Sweden, the difference was bigger: almost 17% of women lost more than a litre in the expectantly managed group, and only 10% in the actively managed group."

The researchers did not find any difference between the two methods in terms of perceived af
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Contact: Elisabeth Jangsten
elisabeth.jangsten@gu.se
46-317-866-063
University of Gothenburg
Source:Eurekalert

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