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Unit 5: Prevention and Management of Postpartum Hemorrhage


This unit explains active management of the third stage of labor, identifying normal and abnormal postpartum blood loss, identification and management of common causes of postpartum hemorrhage, and referrals to higher levels of care.


By the end of this unit, participants will be able to:

  • Demonstrate active management of the third stage of labor.
  • Accurately identify normal and abnormal postpartum blood loss.
  • Identify and manage the most common causes of postpartum hemorrhage following a normal vaginal birth.
  • Utilize supplies available, including those in the Inter-Agency Emergency Reproductive Health Kits, to treat postpartum hemorrhage.
  • Identify and appropriately refer patients requiring a higher level of care.

Timing & Methodology

Total: 150 minutes (2 hours, 30 minutes)

  • 45 minutes: Role Play and Demonstration: Active Management of the Third Stage of Labor
  • 15 minutes: Video and Group Discussion
  • 30 minutes: Blood Estimation Exercise
  • 10 minutes: Facilitator Presentation and Group Discussion
  • 30 minutes: Case Study and Small Group Work\
  • 20 minutes: Demonstration and Practice: Bimanual Compression and Uterine Balloon Tamponade (optional)


  • Print, download, and gather materials
  • Set up the room with projector screen and childbirth simulator visible to all participants
  • Set up the stations displaying blood loss, as described in the facilitator’s guide
  • Review case studies and demonstrations
  • If using, print Uterine Balloon Tamponade Checklist and set up materials for demonstration and practice

Resources Available Online

Sexual and reproductive health services remain critical during COVID-19

IAWG members and partners are producing clinical and programmatic guidance, assessments, policy papers, and statements to ensure continued prioritization of sexual and reproductive health and rights throughout COVID-19 response in humanitarian settings.