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Counties Manukau Health Birthing and Assessment (B & A)

Public Service Maternity Maternity/Birthing Facilities

Bleeding in Pregnancy

There are a few reasons why you might see blood. If you are not 20 weeks yet you will be seen in the Emergency Department and possibly the Gynaecology Care Unit.  If you are 20 weeks or more you will be seen on B & A. 

Bleeding is never normal while pregnant but it may not be caused by anything serious. That is why we get you checked over; you and your baby.

A show: this is nothing to worry about but can look quite scary. It might be sticky smears when you wipe. It might be a great big snotty lump - or anything in between. The blood will not be runny and may be quite brown. A show is part of the body getting ready for birth but don’t get too excited, it can still be a while before labour starts.

Bleeding after sex:  please try not to be embarrassed when we ask you about sex – it gives us a clue to why you might be bleeding. Most often this bleed is because your cervix (the part that will open in labour to let baby through) has become a bit raw because of pregnancy changes. 

Bleeding from the placenta: this is the one we are most worried about because it can make you and your baby feel unwell.  Sometimes with this type of bleeding you will have pain or feel like you are having labour pains.  This bleeding can be because your placenta (whenua or afterbirth) is near the cervix and the edge has lifted. It may be that an area of the placenta has come away from the side. Pamphlet Placenta Praevia

This bleeding can be a little or a lot; bring any pads or towels you have used with you. We need to try and decide how much bleeding there is. If it is down the toilet think about how much it looks like – a teaspoon? A cup?

It is almost impossible for you to know why you are bleeding so it is important to check it out. Speak to your midwife or one of our midwives or come straight in.  

This page was last updated at 11:57AM on October 6, 2020.