The guidelines below are rather general but can be helpful when used in context. I’m mostly referring to excessive menstrual bleeding, miscarriage or abortion aftercare. Post-partum is a bit different, and I’m not as familiar with it.
Perhaps the most important aspect to examine here, is what defines excessive. It’s perfectly natural for some women to have heavy menstrual periods, and also normal and healthy for there to be a significant amount of blood associated with abortion, and especially miscarriage. The uterus really needs that cleansing, healing flow to repair and rebuild internally, so we want to be careful to not prevent that important part of the process. But when an individual loses their color, has rapid heartbeat, gets dizzy, feels confused or exhibits other signs of plummeting blood pressure accompanying large amounts of blood loss, it’s clearly time to take action.
Let me clarify that I am not addressing chronic excessive menstrual bleeding here, which needs to be based on a nutritional approach in most cases. Increasing mineral intake and eating high quality meat or organ meat will often significantly improve such cases.
Also, in some cases acute bleeding can be deadly, so anyone hemorrhaging should be heading directly for an ER. However, if you have borderline bleeding or are not able to reach medical treatment for some reason, here’s a few suggestions. Keep in mind that while these measures can reduce bleeding and encourage healing, they don’t necessarily address the cause of whatever is happening. After you get the bleeding under control, you need to seek treatment for the cause of the problem.
First, get off your feet. Lay down, rest and relax as much as possible. Try to avoid having an adrenalin rush (probably a natural response to realizing you’re losing large amounts of blood, but still not a good idea), and relax tension with gentle massage or mild, appropriate nervines (California Poppy, Skullcap and Evening Primrose all fit the bill). If there is strong cramping or other pain causing tension, try to treat it with minimum sedation. Avoid herbs that are strongly blood moving like Motherwort, Wild Peony and most herbs that are considered strong emmenagogues.
Next, take a 50/50 blend of Shepherd’s Purse and Yarrow. It’s a classic and it works really well in most cases. I usually give 2 ml every half hour or so until bleeding slows noticeably. Also, make at least a quart of strongly astringent infusion that focuses on the reproductive area, I like a blend of 3 parts Raspberry leaf, 2 parts Hawthorn leaf and flower, 1 part Rose and a largish pinch of Cinnamon. Let steep several hours if possible. Don’t drink it all at once if you can avoid it, instead sip at it very steadily over a period of several hours. For extra impact, add a few dropperfuls of Blackberry bark/leaf tincture to the infusion. I’ve heard great reports on Cinnamon tincture for this kind of thing, but haven’t used it enough to say anything conclusive from experience.
Of course, drinking all this astringent liquid can make your guts hurt from all the tanins and result in rather impaired digestion of food, so keep that in mind and don’t take the infusion for longer than you need to. Afterwards, I recommend a daily mild infusion with Raspberry leaf, Nettles and Elm or Mallow to help build the blood back up, strengthen the uterus and remoisten the gut. Add lots of berries to the diet to build the blood as well. Eat some organic, grass fed liver and generally absorb as much nutrition as possible.
I’ve yet to have the above not work, even in scarier cases. Watch for infection and treat accordingly (Bee Balm and Alder can work great here, after bleeding has stopped). Don’t lift anything heavy or strongly exert yourself for a couple of weeks, and if there was an abortion or miscarriage involved don’t take baths, have intercourse, use tampons or otherwise disturb the vagina and cervix for two weeks. And don’t get pregnant again until your body has fully recovered from this traumatic and draining experience. That last bit is especially important. Nourish yourself, and give your body and spirit time and space to fully heal.