Emergency Natural Childbirth: 3 Stages of Labor Stage 3 Risks
About the second of three stages of emergency natural childbirth and labor, bleeding and risks to mother, tips and advice on what to do.
3rd Stage of Labor. Usually a few minutes after the baby is born, but sometimes more than an hour, the mother will feel a brief return of the labor pains which had ceased with the birth. These are due to contractions of the uterus as it attempts to expel the afterbirth. Do not pull on the cord to hurry this process. There is no great hurry for delivery of the placenta.
If the placenta is delivered, wrap it in plastic or paper and deliver it to the doctor for examination. He must determine if any particles have been left within the mother.
Some bleeding is to be expected at this stage. A sanitary napkin can be placed in position; pressure of the thighs is sufficient to hold it in place. Keep the mother's knees raised and together while she is being transported to the hospital.
Hemorrhage after delivery can cause the mother's death at this stage. If there is profuse bleeding after the placenta is delivered, push the mother's uterus up into her abdomen by pressing the fingers immediately above the pelvis in the midline in front, and by strongly pressing down into her abdomen. This will bring her uterus up into the abdomen proper and enable grasping and holding the enlarged womb, or uterus, which will be about the size of a large grapefruit; it must contract to control the bleeding from its inside surface. To help the womb to contract, grasp it through the mother's abdominal wall just below the umbilicus (navel) and gently knead it until it becomes firm. Continue the kneading for about an hour until the uterus is firmly contracted and danger of hemorrhage is past. It may be desirable to put the baby almost immediately to the mother's breast for a minute or 2 on each side even though she will have no milk as yet. This helps the uterus contract and reduces the bleeding.
Whether or not severe hemorrhage occurs, someone should stand by the mother and occasionally massage her abdomen gently for about an hour after the afterbirth is expelled. After that, the mother should feel the rounded surface of the uterus through her abdomen and squeeze firmly but gently with her fingers. Holding onto the uterus should prevent a fatal hemorrhage.
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