What Should I do with the Placenta?

Once Baby Arrives… Why Should I Wait Until The Cord Stops Pulsing to Cut It? Several studies now suggest that new-born babies gain several benefits from waiting to cut the umbilical cord until at least two minutes after birth. This has now become the general procedure; however if it’s something you feel strongly about you may want to put it in your birth plan. Waiting until the cord stops pulsating could result in better blood counts and iron levels for your baby. If the cord is cut prematurely, often baby will gasp for air and/or not receive all of the nutrients they receive from the placenta. You’ve got your Baby…Now here comes the placenta Once baby has been born, the placenta is still attached inside of you. At some point after baby has arrived, the placenta will detach from the uterus and then be ‘birthed’ also. This is called the "3rd stage of labour" and can take a couple of minutes or up to an hour. You will experience a few more surges (which you won’t notice as you will be too busy gazing at your beautiful new baby) and then out pops the placenta. It is very dangerous for mum for any of the placenta to be left inside and if the placenta does not detach, it may have to be manually removed during surgery. Unfortunately, I had this pleasure after the birth of my son, but was just so happy and high about his arrival that I barely noticed. Once the placenta has been expelled, the uterus contracts firmly, closing off the open blood vessels which had previously supplied the placenta. Without this wave, rapid blood loss could cause a big problem and be dangerous for you also. This blog is adapted from the revised edition of Birth ROCKS by Cheryl MacDonald, available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle.

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