Haemophilia is an X-linked recessive genetic disease of haemostasis. Women carriers may present with a bleeding tendency similar to milder forms of the disease. Haemophilic newborns present risk factors and patterns of bleeding that are challenging. Identification of carriers and genetic counselling before conception is considered optimal to help decide on available conception options and during pregnancy to help minimise bleeding risks for both carrier mother and affected baby. Preimplantation genetic diagnosis is attractive to many couples at risk of having a child with haemophilia and relevant technology is becoming more available although it has both practical and ethical limitations. Pregnancy in carriers should be managed by a multidisciplinary team in a comprehensive treatment centre. The optimal mode of delivery for carriers expecting a baby known to have or being at risk of haemophilia is an issue of great debate. The general consensus among authors is avoidance of instrumental delivery, foetal scalp electrodes and blood sampling in pregnancies at risk of carrying an affected foetus, as well as early recourse to Caesarean section as guided by obstetric indications. Intracranial haemorrhage, although infrequent, is one the most devastating types of bleeding in haemophilic newborns and can occur regardless of the mode of delivery or the severity of haemophilia. Early screening is proposed for all infants with severe or moderate haemophilia who have had traumatic delivery and/or have evidence of extracranial haemorrhage. Women with postpartum haemorrhage should have a bleeding work-up.
- Intracranial haemorrhage
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