How does the third stage of labour affect my placenta remedies?
Once a mum has decided to have placenta encapsulation so that she and her baby can benefit from all its healing and nourishing properties, there are questions that naturally arise about the birth.
One of these questions is around the third stage of labour.
What is the third stage of labour?
The third stage of labour begins once your baby is born and ends when you deliver the placenta (afterbirth). After your baby has been born, the placenta which has sustained her throughout pregnancy is no longer needed.
Mums can opt to have either a natural (known as a physiological) third stage, or the third stage can be actively managed. When it is actively managed, the mum is given an injection to speed up expulsion of the placenta.
The great news is that, whichever method you choose, you can have your placenta encapsulated and preserve its amazing power in balms, creams, massage oils and placenta pills.
Active versus natural third stage
Active management is predominant in the UK among midwives and obstetricians, according to the Royal College of Midwives. However, many women prefer a natural third stage of labour and, particularly if they are planning a natural birth, see no reason to have drugs to help them with it.
It is a choice you can make based on your preference and the advice of your midwife and doctor.
Physiological third stage
A physiological third stage means that you wait for the placenta to be delivered naturally. After your baby's birth, your midwife will delay placing a clamp on the umbilical cord until it has stopped pulsating to allow oxygenated blood to pulse from the placenta to your baby.
You will deliver the placenta when your body is ready. Breastfeeding and skin-to-skin contact with her will stimulate contractions and may help your natural third stage along.
Actively managed third stage
In an actively managed third stage, your midwife will give you an injection of oxytocin in your thigh once your baby's shoulder emerges. (You will be concentrating on the birth, so are unlikely to be discomfited by this.)
After your baby is born, cord clamping is delayed for at least one minute and up to five minutes before it is cut. The injection causes your uterus to contract strongly so the placenta comes away. Your midwife will press gently on your tummy to ease it out.
Placenta encapsulation after the third stage
Both methods take a little over 10 minutes from the birth to when you deliver the placenta. A physiological third stage tends to take longer, sometimes up to an hour.
The main advantage of an actively managed third stage is a possibly lower risk of heavy bleeding. It is always recommended when mums have had complications during pregnancy or labour. The disadvantage is that the injection increases the chances of nausea and vomiting.
You can be reassured, however, that in each case your placenta can be preserved for encapsulation.
By extending the life of your placenta in placenta remedies, you may experience the benefits that many women have told me they and their baby feel, such as:
- increasing breast milk and maintaining a healthy milk supply
- reducing and preventing baby blues and post-natal depression
- helping with teething pain
- boosting your baby’s immune system
- healing and soothing nappy rash
- reducing the appearance of stretch marks
Talking to a placenta encapsulation specialist
You should be able to talk to your midwife about your options for the third stage of labour when you write your birth plan, discussing your wishes and deciding on the right method for you and your baby.
This is also the perfect time to discuss placenta encapsulation with a specialist such as The Placenta Practice, so that you can be prepared for the day of the birth and consider which placenta capsules, balms, essences and oils you wish to order.
Do give me a call if you have any questions. I always love to help.