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Labor and Delivery

Delivering the Placenta After Labor and Delivery

After you deliver your baby, the placenta will need to be delivered. This can take up to half an hour. Your doctor will assist you with this, if needed. After delivery of the placenta, the uterus normally begins to contract and shrink, which helps to stop any heavy bleeding. If needed, you may be given additional medication to help stimulate these contractions. It will take several weeks for the uterus to shrink back to its normal size.
Your physician will then inspect the outside of your vulva and the vagina for tears or lacerations. If you have an extensive tear, or if you have had an episiotomy, this will be sewn up at this time.
Some women want to hold or breastfeed their baby immediately after labor and delivery. This will be possible as long as you and your baby are not having any problems that need to be taken care of first. Once you and your baby are examined and everything is deemed fine, you can hold your child. Your friends and family can join you, and you will probably want to have a good, long rest.
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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