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Unassisted Childbirth FAQnA
What if the placenta doesn't come out right away?
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Some women like to have certain herbs on hand to help expell a stubborn placenta and control bleeding. Below is a page with some links to begin you on your research-journey regarding these types of herbs. Please be sure you understand the potential risks, as well as the  benefits, of each herb before you make your final decision about whether or not it is something you are willing to try.
 
 

I would be patient, and let the placenta come out when it was ready. Normally, a change of position will do it for me, but I do plan to have certain herbs on hand for this purpose, in case changing positions and gentle pushing don't get things going after several hours. If it was longer than 5-6 hours, I might consider using the herbs to help things along.

~Carrie

UC Board CL

 






I think mine took two hours

We did rush it, which I now regret. Next time I'm going to wrap up in a sheet, and go have a nap with the baby, and not worry about it. Putting baby to breast is a good way to get the uterus to begin contracting, and my understanding is that this is a good way to get the placenta to detach and expel.

Kiley
 
UC Board cL



I feel as if placentas, just like babies, go my no man/woman's schedule of when they "should" come out. It can take anywhere from 5 mins to hours for *your* placenta to come out. Your body knows how long it needs to be retained, to lessen excessive bleeding. Many hospitals have a 30 min placenta policy... if it is still retained by 30 mins, pitocin is administered to "help" the placenta along. Pulling and tugging at the cord/manually manipulating the cord/placenta can only cause more bleeding and trauma. I feel like placentas, just like babies know when they're ready to come out...

karly




No need to get worried over a placenta taking a long time to come out. However if you have previously had a c-section in which the uterine incision was closed with only one layer of suturing, you should be aware that the placenta has a higher incidence of growing into the uterine muscle. It might be a good idea to find out from the surgeon HOW s/he closed the incision.

DO NOT under any circumstances pull on the cord or apply traction to the cord. Doing so could cause a hemorrhage or could cause some of the placenta to come out while some stays attached. Most doctors will administer pitocin intravenously to get the placenta to detach, but all you have to do to mimic that *naturally* is to put your baby to breast ASAP. If your placenta is taking a long time to come out, my recommendation would be to leave the cord intact. If you absolutely must cut the cord, make sure to put a plastic clamp or tightly tied shoelace on the end still attached to the placenta (another method I've heard of involves cauterizing the limp cord with a candle).

carie




Patience...I'd just wait for it to come out on its own. I don't plan to sit there with a stopwatch.

Ruth




Mine took 3 1/2 hours to come out...

I was so worried that after my beautiful birth, I'd have to go to the hospital... We took out our Emergency Childbirth book (THANK GOD we had it!) And it said the placenta could take hours. I had it in my mind it ought to come in 5-30 minutes.

I think it may have taken that long because I was sitting & trying to nurse Ella... as SOON as I got in the shower & squatted, it came RIGHT out. So if you're having trouble, ladies, squat! :O)

Aubrey



Don't worry about it. Some placentas will take hours to birth. If you feel that it is ready to come, and you are having contractions (in general, I use the word "expansion" for what the uterus does during birth, because I like to focus on the cervix opening and expanding, but after the baby is born, the uterus *is* mostly contracting, and closing the cervix), then change your position, try to bear down a little with the contractions, walk around... If none of that works, blow into a bottle-- this is remarkably successful, as it makes you involuntarily loosen just the right place of your belly to let the placenta birth. Most of all, don't get all worried about it and tense up-- that will *not* help your body let the placenta go.

You might also like to think of why you don't want to let go of the placenta-- is it that you will miss being pregnant, or perhaps don't want the birth to end, or maybe are feeling a bit anxious about finishing the birth and getting on with the job of mothering the new little one? Sometimes we just have to think things through to be able to let something go...

Beatrice-- mama to Max (6, CNM hospital birth), William (4, LM home waterbirth), Dora (2, family UC), Wee One (in belly, arriving late-Winter, UC)

*Bee's Official Disclaimer: All of my answers express my own personal opinion, and as I am not a trained birth professional, but better, an experienced mother, none of it ought to be construed as medical advice.*

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