Women and partners' experience of major postpartum haemorrhage: a qualitative study

Lena Rosvig; Ellen Steffensen; Lise Brogaard; Lone Hvidman; Ole Kierkegaard; Anne Cathrine Kjeldsen; Katja Taastrøm; Niels Uldbjerg; Stina Lou


To examine women and their partners' experience of major postpartum haemorrhage (PPH).


A qualitative interview study.


Two Labour and Delivery Units in Denmark.


Women who experienced major PPH.


Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 15 women and nine partners (nine joint interviews, six individual interviews). Interviews were analysed using thematic analysis.

Main outcome measures

A qualitative description of women and their partners' experiences.


Three major themes were identified. (1) 'From birth to emergency' included factors that increased concern in women and their partners, such as 'incomprehensible' medical terminology, a tense atmosphere, and alarm call. Transfer to the operating theatre was experienced as the most devastating part of major PPH. (2) 'Feeling safe during an emergency' described factors that supported the women and their partners' management of the situation such as brief explanations from a few healthcare professionals and reassurance that the healthcare professionals were in control of the situation. The pain was experienced as severe, but acceptable. (3) 'Family unity challenged' described how family bonding was supported by positioning the partner at the head of the bed and by keeping the baby on the woman's chest.


Several factors such as small gestures from healthcare professionals and appropriate organisation of the PPH can make a difference to the woman and her partner's experience of major PPH. Particularly, efforts that support family bonding are greatly valued by women and their partners.

Women and partners' experience of major postpartum haemorrhage: a qualitative study

Udgivelsesform Videnskabelige artikler
År 2023
Udgiver BJOG


Stina Lou

Stina Lou

+45 7841 4364



Stina Lou