Blood transfusion, pregnancy and birth

When you haemorrhage (bleed very heavily), this is an emergency situation. As a result of this bleeding, you can become severely anaemic. Without a transfusion to replace the blood you have lost, you could die. A haemorrhage can happen:

  • early in pregnancy if you have an ectopic pregnancy (when the pregnancy is growing outside the uterus) or a miscarriage
  • after 24 weeks of pregnancy (antepartum haemorrhage)
  • during birth (intrapartum haemorrhage)
  • immediately after birth (postpartum haemorrhage).

Even with excellent care in pregnancy and monitoring during labour, it is not possible to predict or detect every complication in time to prevent a life-threatening bleed. Surgical techniques and medication will be used to try to limit the need for a blood transfusion but a blood transfusion might be needed to save your life or to prevent serious harm to your health and your baby’s health.


The leaflet can be downloaded as a pdf by clicking on the link below.