thread: How long?

  1. #1
    BellyBelly Member

    Jan 2009

    How long?

    With my first birth (at home) I intended to have a natural 3rd stage but after about 3 hours and no sign of placenta I had the injection.... still nothing. After bit of blood and call to ambulance to transfer to hospital for manual removal the midwife got it out before having to transfer.
    Been thinking about my next birth, in about 16 weeks time and would really like to go for natural 3rd stage again. So.... my question is how long to wait? What is the longest people have waited for a placenta naturally?
    My mw heard of someone who took 12 hours.
    Was drug free with my first birth and had skin to skin straight away, but was slow to get any nipple action. Also don't think it helped that MW said 'push like you just pushed your baby out' and I'm thinking 'no way that bloody hurt!'
    Cheers for all comments

  2. #2
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Dec 2008

    I had a natural 3rd stage with my 3rd baby, the 1st was with injection and can't remember the 2nd. From memory it was only a few minutes and I did push like I pushed my baby out, it was a natural reflex to push it out. It did hurt but nowhere near as much as getting the baby out. I think it hurt mainly because of the grazing I had.

  3. #3
    BellyBelly Member

    Nov 2006

    I have been with home birthing women who've waited 4 hours for a placenta, with no mishaps. In this case the mama had a bit of emotional processing to do from her previous c/s - this was her first HBAC - before she could 'let go' of the placenta.

    My first placenta (HB) took a couple of hours and I had a lovely patient midwife who told me she'd known of placentas to take as long as 12 hours.

    With my last HB last December, I took After Birth herbal tea, drunk warm through a straw about 5 minutes after birth, while I was cuddling my baby, and that really seemed to help, I birthed the placenta in the birth pool about 30 minutes or so after baby was born.

    I would suggest not rushing anything or being concerned about the time line but instead just look at the clinical picture, are your vital signs OK, the fundus firm and low, the bleeding minimal - and then focus on keeping the environment ideal for the peak flow of third stage hormones.

    This is from my blog on the subject of Third Stage:

    A warm drink with Manuka honey for energy is ideal soon after birth, even better when it contains herbs to enhance the third stage.

    Be sure that ministering the drink to the mother does not disturb the most important thing of all: skin-to-skin cuddles and the miracle of bonding that is unfolding between mother, baby and father. It would be better to delay the warm tea for a while if there is any chance bringing it could disrupt such a once-in-a-lifetime experience that is so vital for the new family. When the time is right, it should be easy to quietly offer the tea through a straw, let her drink, then quietly fade into the background again, leaving the family to continue falling in love.

    Warmth, soft lighting, quiet, privacy, gentle voices, loving care and unhindered skin-to-skin cuddles are the things that optimise the flow of hormones that cause the placenta to detatch, the uterus to involute and the placenta to be born, and the bleeding to be minimal. This important stage of the birth process is often rushed in hospitals, where time is money. Usually they want that placenta out within an hour - or even half an hour. But if blood loss is normal, the mother's vital signs are good, she is not pale or shocky, and her after pains are not too severe, there is no need for rush. The placenta will come. I have been at perfectly safe normal homebirths where it took 4 hours or more for the placenta to come away, and it did, in the fullness of time - when the mother was physically and emotionally ready.

    One of my doula friends tells me that she encourages the women she serves to not only visualise themselves giving birth but also to visualise themselves holding their baby, having after pains that herald movement of the placenta, and then see themselves birthing that placenta, catching it, the cord still attached to the soft, warm little body in their arms. That's a good idea.

    I have heard of women who've been told that their placenta won't come unless the cord is cut. (I can't believe women get told this stuff, it's right up there with one woman who was told by hospital staff that unless they broke her waters, the baby couldn't be born!) No, you do not need to cut the cord for the placenta to be born, and there is no need to routinely cut it. In fact, the cord does not need to be cut at all - some people choose to have a Lotus Birth, when the placenta is dried, wrapped and kept with the baby (in a special placenta bag, or a modern cloth nappy (MCN) will do) until the cord dries up and falls off naturally.

    There is sound scientific wisdom to support an un-rushed Third Stage and delayed cutting of the cord.

    In the modern, medicalised culture, we don't often recognise the value of the placenta - it is routinely discarded as waste material, merely a mess to be cleaned up. I feel that this is part of the de-valuing of the glory of birth. I encourgage you to take the time to think about what the placenta means to you. It has nourished your baby for 9 months and its value continues after the baby is born and no longer needs it. The placenta is extremely rich in hormones and nutrients that can be of great benefit to the mother. Perhaps you would like to find out more about Lotus Birth. Perhaps you would like to investigate placentophage - the consumption of a tiny bit of placenta. It is said to be very useful for preventing or ceasing blood flow after birth. Sometimes merely holding a small bit of placenta to a mother's lips will prevent PPH. Some people make capusles of dried, ground placenta. Others make tinctures from the placenta. Placenta can be helpful for boosting a low milk supply and also for preventing post natal depression. All that we can learn about the continuing benefits of the placenta are unlikely to be widely appreciated when the usual practice is to chuck it out. The placenta can be easily rinsed, then put in the freezer in a big ice cream container (great excuse to buy a family-sized amount of ice cream) until you decide what you'd like to do with it.
    Last edited by Julie Doula; July 17th, 2011 at 05:47 PM.