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Bleeding disorders – pregnancy and childbirth

If you have an inherited bleeding disorder, you may want to see a genetic counsellor before you become pregnant. They can talk through the risk of having an affected child and tell you whether prenatal testing is available. You will need to see an obstetrician earlier than most women – as soon as you know you are pregnant. The obstetrician will need to be in contact with your haemophilia centre throughout your pregnancy.

If you have factor XIII (13) deficiency, or the factor I (1) disorder afibrinogenaemia, you have a greater risk of miscarriage and a complication of pregnancy called placental abruption. This is where the placenta comes away from the wall of the womb, meaning that the baby gets less blood flow and oxygen. You will need treatment throughout your pregnancy to lower the risk of miscarriage and placental abruption. Contact your haemophilia centre before planning a pregnancy and as soon as you think you might be pregnant.

All bleeding disorders carry a greater risk of bleeding after the baby has been born. Treatment can lower the risk of bleeding and minimise it if it does happen. Treatment is different for each woman and will depend on your own and your family’s history of bleeding symptoms, how severe your bleeding disorder is and how you deliver your baby. Some women may need factor replacement treatment. You need to discuss your pregnancy and delivery with your haemophilia team even if you are delivering in another hospital.