Delivering the afterbirth

Once your baby is born, you deliver the afterbirth, called the placenta. Contractions will begin again, but they are weaker this time. The placenta will gradually peel away from the wall of your womb.

Hold your new baby next to your skin. Offer your breast as soon as possible. This will increase your contractions to make the placenta separate. It may be easier to push your placenta out if you are upright.

The placenta, and the empty bag of waters, will drop to the bottom of your womb. They pass out through your vagina.

You may have an injection of a drug. This helps the placenta detach itself from your womb. It speeds up the third stage and you won't have to do much pushing.

Your midwife will examine the placenta. She needs to make sure that nothing has been left behind. She will feel your tummy to check that your womb is contracting hard. This stops the bleeding from the place where the placenta was attached.

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