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2-14. Delivery of the Placenta

Hopefully, you will have an assistant who can watch the baby while you attend to the delivery of the placenta. The placenta is usually delivered within 20 minutes after the baby has been born. Proceed as follows:

  1. Expect some bleeding. One or two cups (less than 500 ml) is normal. This bleeding occurs as a result of the separation of the placenta from the wall of the uterus.
  2. Gently massage the mother's abdomen over the uterus. This causes the uterus to contract.
  3. You can also put the infant to the mother's breast to stimulate the uterus to contract and control bleeding.
CAUTION: NEVER pull on the umbilical cord in an attempt to hasten the delivery of the placenta.
  1. When the placenta is delivered, place it in a basin or plastic bag. Take the placenta to the hospital. The placenta will be examined to be sure that all the afterbirth has been expelled.
  2. Examine the perineum which is the skin between the anus and vagina for lacerations. Apply pressure to any bleeding tears.
  3. Place a sanitary pad over the vaginal opening.
  4. Lower the mother's legs.
  5. Prepare for transport.

David L. Heiserman, Editor

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Revised: June 06, 2015