The placenta

788px-Human_placenta_baby_sideAfter the birth of the baby comes the placenta. This is also known as the third stage of labor. This stage involves the placenta separating off from the uterus. This process can take a few minutes and may require your healthcare provider to administer medications and having you bear down when the time is right. After this occurs there can be some bleeding. Bleeding at the site where the placenta was is common and usually tapers off with the uterus contracting.

Sometimes the uterus does not contract as much as it should and needs a little help. This is sometimes the case if the labor was long and you body is tired or if you had a large baby and the uterus was overstretched. Your healthcare provider may need to give you additional medication on perform a uterine massage. A uterine massage involves the healthcare provider rubbing your abdomen vigorously until they feel that the uterus is hard. Or your healthcare provider may have you start nursing the baby right away. Having your nipples stimulated releases oxytocin, which is very effective in starting contractions to help in the delivery of the placenta.

If thirty minutes have passed and the placenta has not been delivered than  sometimes your healthcare provider must manually remove the placenta. It is important that your placenta is delivered because when it is still in the uterus is prevents the uterus from contracting and you risk bleeding excessively.

Watch this video to see an animated birth of the baby and placenta.



How to make  a birth plan.