Postpartum hemorrhage is the leading cause of maternal deaths in developing countries. This report highlights the social and cultural factors that influence the decision to seek care in cases of postpartum bleeding. Survey data on awareness of danger signs in the postpartum period and findings from the anthropologic literature describing beliefs about bleeding in childbirth and the postpartum period are presented. Findings point to a mismatch between actual and perceived risks of danger in the postpartum period. This may reflect a viewpoint that there are few risks remaining after the baby is born. This may, in turn, shape the perception that the postpartum period is one in which less vigilance is required compared with labor and birth. Such beliefs are important to consider, as they may influence timely seeking of emergency obstetric care. Efforts to reduce the incidence of postpartum hemorrhage as a major cause of maternal death must progress on two fronts: on the supply side to ensure the provision of skilled care and on the demand side to ensure that women and their families accept the view that bleeding after birth is dangerous and that skilled care is preferable to traditional care.