Our midwife explains about the final stage of labour and the delivery of the placenta
Hold on, you’re thinking, if I’ve had the baby, surely that’s the end of it! What’s the third stage? But a couple more things need to happen before the whole giving birth experience is over. The third stage is the time from your baby’s birth until the delivery of the placenta and membranes (the bag that held the water and your baby). If your labour has been straightforward, you might want to complete the process naturally and keep the baby’s cord attached until it stops pulsating.
When the pulsating (that’s just the blood still flowing through it) has stopped, the umbilical cord can be clamped and the placenta separates naturally.
If you do it naturally:
Other women prefer an ‘active’ third stage. An oxytocic drug is injected into your outer thigh as the baby is born, which makes the uterus contract, which then expels the placenta.
If it’s managed:
“Once my baby was out, the contractions stopped. I got a shock when I suddenly got one more, and the midwife explained that it was my womb contracting as the placenta came away from the uterus. Five minutes later, it slid out,” said Annie Daly, 33, from Hove, mum to Megan, 3 weeks.
“Even if your partner doesn’t fancy cutting the cord, get the midwife to ask him again at the time, as he might feel completely different when it comes to it.”
© Immediate Media Company Ltd 2012. This website is owned and published by Immediate Media Company Limited. www.immediatemedia.co.uk