Active Management of the Third Stage of Labor: A Simple Practice to Prevent Postpartum Hemorrhage

This brief discusses the following points:

  • Postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) is the leading direct cause of maternal death in developing countries.
  • Most cases of PPH occur within 24 hours after delivery.
  • About 70 percent of cases of PPH are due to uterine atony, which can be prevented with Active Management of the Third Stage of Labor (AMTSL).
  • Any woman can face life-threatening blood loss at the time of delivery; women with anemia are particularly vulnerable since they may not tolerate even moderate blood loss.
  • AMTSL reduces the incidence of PPH, quantity of blood loss, need for blood transfusion, and need for medical intervention to stop bleeding.


2 p
INFO Project at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Communication Programs