- Chrissy Teigen received two blood transfusions while in the hospital for severe bleeding during her third pregnancy.
- Blood transfusions during pregnancy are rare but sometimes necessary to treat iron deficiencies or hemorrhaging.
- Teigen "seems stable, so I think the management is spot on," an OB-GYN told Insider. "In pregnancy, the goal is to do everything to maintain the pregnancy."
- Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.
Chrissy Teigen underwent two blood transfusions while in the hospital for excessive bleeding during pregnancy, the model and entrepreneur said on Instagram Monday night.
Teigen, who's pregnant with her and her husband John Legend's third child, was hospitalized Sunday after her consistent bleeding during pregnancy turned severe. It was "like if you were to turn a faucet on low and leave it there," Teigen said in her Instagram Stories Sunday night.
The bleeding is related to her placenta, which is weakened, she said, but she feels good and her future son is still strong and healthy.
During the more recent update, about her blood transfusions, Teigen also projected calm, writing in a post that it "truly truly truly sounds more dramatic than it is" and that she and her baby are "completely fine."
But by Tuesday morning she tweeted that she had a "really scary morning," including passing a huge blood clot. Eventually, her son's heartbeat was found. "I never thought I'd relief sigh so much in my liiiiife," she said.
Blood transfusions during pregnancy are uncommon, but sometimes necessary to treat anemia or extreme bleeding. In some cases, hemorrhaging can be the result of miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy.
View this post on Instagram
hello from hospital. about to have my second blood transfusion which truly truly truly sounds more dramatic than it is. It’s an IV, but instead of fluids, the blood of some kind human being out there. Baby and I are completely fine, just missing the little things like walking…cooking…playing with the other buttbutts. came across this little gem from ringing in 2020. It all makes sense now!
Teigen said her transfusions are 'just like an IV, except … it's human blood"
In her Stories, Teigen said, "I got some blood from somebody, so if you donate blood, it goes to actual people. People that might be me."
"I kinda feel like I definitely have somebody else inside me right now, which is an odd feeling to have," the 34-year-old cookbook author and host of "Lip Sync Battle" said, adding that she also took a Benadryl in case she had an allergic reaction to the blood.
Blood for transfusions is in short supply during the current pandemic, since blood drives hosted by high schools, colleges, businesses ,and other organizations made up the bulk of donations pre-COVID. In the New York City area, for instance, the number of blood drives has dropped by two-thirds in 2020.
To find a place to donate near you, enter your zip code into the Red Cross's searchable database.
Blood transfusions during pregnancy are used to treat anemia and hemorrhaging
Dr. Jessica Shepherd, an OB-GYN at Baylor University Medical Center, told Insider blood transfusions during pregnancy aren't common, "but depending on the diagnosis and management, I'm sure it's very essential for [Teigen.]"
The procedures are typically used to either treat anemia (an iron deficiency) or hemorrhaging (extreme and sudden bleeding), like Teigen said she's been experiencing, according to the American Pregnancy Association.
If the hemorrhaging — which more often occurs during and immediately after childbirth — isn't treated, it can lead to anemia, which in severe cases increases the risk of death. When hemorrhaging occurs earlier in childbirth, it can sometimes be a result of a miscarriage or ectoptic pregnancy.
The transfusions involve a small tube being inserted into a vein in the hand or arm, and typically take about three hours. Side effects can range from headaches and itchiness to, in the case of multiple transfusions, serious electrolyte imbalances and infections.
One study out of Australia looking at nearly 900,000 pregnancies found that rates of blood transfusions during pregnancy, childbirth, or in the six weeks after birth rose from 1.2% to 1.6% between 2001 and 2010.
It also found that 91% of the transfusions occurred when the mother was admitted to the hospital for the birth, and that 81% were administered to treat hemorrhaging.
Receiving transfusions for extreme bleeding about midway through pregnancy, as Teigen is, is rarer.
Women with placenta placenta previa, or when the placenta sits too low in the uterus, were at highest risk for receiving transfusions, along with those who had bleeding or platelet disorders. Teigen has said she has a very weak placenta, which is contributing to her bleeding.
Teigen "seems stable, so I think the management is spot on," Shepherd told Insider. "In pregnancy, the goal is to do everything to maintain the pregnancy."
Teigen underwent IVF to conceive her first two children with Legend, and was surprised to learn she conceived naturally. "I'm so excited for him because he's so wonderful and just like the strongest little dude," she said in her Stories Sunday night. "I can't wait for him."
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