When you give birth in a hospital, you usually assume that, once you're done, you won’t have to go back anytime soon. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case for Remy Ma.
The rapper had to go back to the hospital on Tuesday after giving birth to her daughter over the weekend, her publicist told Page Six. “Remy is recovering in the hospital from a blood transfusion due to childbirth complications,” her publicist said. “She will be released in a day or so and is ecstatic about the birth of her healthy baby girl.”
The news comes just days after Remy’s husband, Papoose, revealed on Instagram that his wife was having a difficult delivery. "My wife is still fighting through it," he wrote. “She’s a warrior! Keep us in your prayers." In a later post, he also said, "After overcoming such a tough labor/delivery! My wife breast feeds our child, around the clock. I’m so amazed by her strength, courage & motherly touch."
Of course, we don't know exactly what Remy Ma experienced, but we do know there are some common causes of heavy bleeding during and after delivery that might warrant a blood transfusion.
Some bleeding during delivery is normal, but excessive bleeding can be dangerous.
During birth, most people lose about one pint of blood when the placenta is detached from the uterus. But, as the uterus contracts after delivery, that helps "squeeze off the bleeding” from the blood vessels there, Christine Greves, M.D., a board-certified ob/gyn at the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies, tells SELF.
But sometimes people develop a serious condition called uterine atony in which the uterus doesn't contract and stop the bleeding like usual, possibly causing a hemorrhage. This is more likely to happen if you've had children in the past, had a long and tough labor, or you're giving birth to multiples (like twins or triplets), Lauren Streicher, M.D., a professor of clinical obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, tells SELF. “Sometimes the uterus gets tired, for lack of a better word, and doesn’t contract down very well,” she says. Whatever the reason, it can cause heavy bleeding.
Other possible causes of heavy bleeding during and after you give birth include placenta previa (in which the placenta covers the opening in the cervix), placenta accreta (in which part or all of the placenta stays attached to the uterine wall after giving birth), or a laceration (cut) in or on the cervix, uterus, or vagina, Dr. Greves says. If a person has a clotting disorder, that can also cause them to bleed more heavily than normal, Dr. Streicher says.
A blood transfusion is an option, but it's usually not the first one doctors want to try.
Losing a large amount of blood is a medical emergency that can result in hemorrhagic shock and even death if not treated. So, obviously your doctor will want to do what they can to stop the bleeding.
If uterine atony is the issue, your doctor may try to stimulate uterine contractions with a medication like misoprotol, Pitocin, or methylergonovine, G. Thomas Ruiz, M.D., lead ob/gyn at MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center in Fountain Valley, Calif., tells SELF. “[But] if the uterus doesn’t start to contract quickly and we start getting a large flow of blood, we’ll have to transfuse blood,” he says. “You don’t want to get behind with this. You want to stay on top of it right away.”
If the bleeding seems to be controlled but you’re not feeling great (your blood pressure is low or you feel weak or dizzy, for instance), your doctor may want to give you IV fluids (for hydration) and iron (to help your body make red blood cells) to try to help, Dr. Streicher says. However, she adds, you won’t notice the effects of the iron immediately.
Experts stress that you shouldn’t be afraid of getting a blood transfusion if your doctor recommends it. “It’s not something we do unnecessarily, and you shouldn’t be afraid of it,” Dr. Streicher says. “But if your doctor thinks you will benefit from a transfusion, take the transfusion.”
Recovery from this ultimately depends on the reason why you needed the transfusion in the first place.
The transfusion itself should actually help you recover better and faster, Jessica Shepherd, M.D., a minimally invasive gynecologic surgeon at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas, tells SELF. When you lose a lot of blood, recovery can be tricky because blood is what carries oxygen throughout your body, and "oxygen is vital to recovery," she says. A transfusion helps get your body's oxygen levels back up and can move your recovery along, she says.
Although it's hard to say exactly how long it'll take you to heal, if you needed a blood transfusion, you’re probably going to need a longer recovery than new parents who didn’t need a transfusion. "The reason you got the transfusion is because something catastrophic happened," Dr. Streicher says. "It’s going to take you a while to bounce back."