Placenta: Third Stage of Labor

The placenta is an important organ that grows with your baby to reach 8 to 9 inches wide. It secretes an essential hormone HCG to support the pregnancy and plays an important role in providing nutrients to the fetus. It allows the passage of oxygen and nutrients for the baby and eliminate waste through the mother’s blood stream.

The delivery of the placenta is considered the third stage of labor. It is a temporary organ that is disposed once its mission is completed.

What happens during this Process?

After birth, the placenta is expelled within 5 to 30mn. You may feel a contraction which indicates that the placenta has been detached from the uterus wall.

Some doctors would speed up this process because they are eager to begin the episiotomy repair. They would administer Oxytocin via intramuscular injection to initiate contractions followed by a traction on the cord. This method is quite risky with the probability of leaving pieces of the placenta attached inside the uterus which will cause hemorrhage.

After the placenta expulsion, the midwife or doctor will administer Methergine via intramuscular route to control bleeding and will massage the uterus gently to reduce the bleeding flow called “Lochia”.

Once the placenta is out, your health care will note the time of its expulsion and examine it to make sure that all parts are normal and complete.

After that, you will be cleaned and moved to the recovery room for monitoring. This period might take at least an hour or so to make sure that you are not bleeding and your uterus is firm.

At this stage, pregnancy is over and motherhood has begun.

Congratulations!