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Childbirth Stage Three

In two previous articles, we've mentioned what a wonderfully, joyous experience childbirth is.  Even the pregnancy, most women find enjoyable--not physically, but emotionally, as they bond to the child.  And while all childbirths are different, there are three basic stages that women will pass through during the childbirth. 

We've discussed the first two stages, Stage 1, the onset of labor, which goes until the cervix is dilated to about 10 cm; Stage 2, which continues from that point until you deliver the baby.  And now we'll talk about Stage Three:  Delivery of the Placenta.

This third stage is the shortest one: It is the delivery of your placenta.  While every situation is, of course, different, generally it will take somewhere between five and 30 minutes to deliver the placenta.  Here's what you can expect and what you should do.  After the baby is born, your doctor or other medical professional will wait for some small contractions to start up one again. 

This will tell him / her that the placenta is pulling away from the wall of the uterus, and that it's ready now to be delivered.  The doctor might apply some pressure to the uterus by massaging it.  He / she may also gently pull on the umbilical cord.  The final result will be the delivery of the placenta (which is often called the afterbirth).  After the placenta is delivered, you might experience some severe shivering and shaking. Don't be worried about this, as it's a common effect.

After this, you will have completed all three stages of childbirth.  For a few hours following this, the medical staff will monitor you, just to make sure that your uterus keeps on contracting and also checking to make sure there is no excessive bleeding.  After this, the real joy comes:  You get to take home your new little one and enjoy all the pleasures -- and pains -- of motherhood!

Childbirth Series Articles:

Childbirth Stage 1
Childbirth Stage 2
Childbirth Stage 3

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