Third Stage of Labor

What's Happening
-- The cord is cut, and the baby is placed on your abdomen.
-- What a mix of feelings: excitement, joy, awe -- and relief!
-- The placenta is delivered -- usually within the first ten minutes, but it occasionally takes longer.
-- Your caregiver will complete whatever care (if any) needs to be done. Cold compresses are often applied to the perineum to ease discomfort and reduce swelling.
-- Many women get afterpains or "the shakes" after birth.

What Helps
-- Touch, caress and cuddle your baby without time constraints. If at all possible, don’t allow your baby to be separated from you.
-- This is a good time for the first breastfeeding, which is enjoyable for mother and baby and also tightens the uterus and decreases bleeding.
-- Most routine infant procedures can be done without removing the baby from you. Request that others such as weighing and eye medication be delayed.

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