After Birth Options — The Bump
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After Birth Options

If you're having a natural, un-medicated birth, what happens after delivery? I hear about hospitals giving Oxytocin to help cause contractions to pass the placenta and that the doctor/nurse will massage/ press on your belly and massage it every 15 minutes for the first two hours after delivery. Do they have to do this? Doesn't the placenta pass from nursing, which causes contractions? And the uterious shrink on it's own? I don't know why, but I'm really weirded out by people scrunching on my stomach after delivery.

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Re: After Birth Options

  • Maybe put in your birth plan no "pitocin for placenta delivery" or "allow ample time for placenta to deliver on it's own before augmentation", something like that. With DD, I was already on pitocin, so I did have it, but the placenta came out pretty quick. Same with DS- no drugs, and belly compressions, and it was out within 20 minutes. :)


  • I had a very long labor and stopped contracting completely after pushing out my dd. The midwife saw some bleeding that made her nervous and was afraid of a hemorrage so she massaged out the placenta immediately. It was way worse pain than my whol 36 hour labor. - I support Newt Gingrich's idea of colonizing the moon if it'll help me get away from Newt Gingrich.

    My baby is two!!! Baby girl 9/17/09

    My other baby is still a baby! Baby Boy 11-30-11

  • I think the massaging after birth is pretty standard practice no matter what? It's to help your uterus shrink down faster. I personally didn't have a problem with getting a shot of pitocin after the birth, but that's just me. Talk to your provider about what their standard practice is and why - you definitely have a right to take a "wait and see" approach or refuse it altogether (barring PPH). Make sure you ask how long they like to wait for the placenta to come, you might be able to get them to wait longer than usual, etc.

    And FWIW, the afterbirth pains were very manageable with DS2, but I remember it being pretty painful with DS1 (thoooough, DS1 and I were separated after his birth for awhile, whereas DS2 was with me the whole time, and most likely nursing, so maybe that had something to do with it?).

    DS1 - Feb 2008

    DS2 - Oct 2010 (my VBAC baby!)

  • The "massaging" of my stomach didn't bother me too much, though I was not happy about getting the shot of Pit.  From whatI understand, if you can nurse right after delivery, your uterus contracts and the placenta comes out.  But, I didn't have much left in me to complain, since I was mostly just happy that I had been left alone to labor as I preferred.
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  • I didn't get a "massage" but I did get a shot of pit and I vaguely recall taking a couple of advil for the cramps too.  I wasn't overly worked up over it, but like pp said, by that point, I didn't have a lot of energy to complain about it.  This time I'd probably push back a little more.   

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  • I had a home birth and my midwife "massaged" my belly once.  It was after the placenta had been delivered, but I had a big gush of blood so I guess she was just helping get everything out??  Hurt like hell! 
    image image 
  • I didn't have any "massaging" or Pit until after the placenta was delivered. The my MW did some "massaging" to make sure all the clots and such were out, but I kept bleeding and having more clots, so I had to get Pitocin to stop the bleeding, because I was bleeding too much. I had to say, the 'massaging was more painful than my entire labor (except maybe that ring of fire :P). Just to be safe, i would lay out your desires in your birth plan. I personally didn't have one, but I had discussed all of my expectations ahead of time with my MW and since she was going to be present the whole time at the hospital, I wasn't worried about a birth plan.  

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  • i didn't have the massage or pitocin. a couple minutes after delivery...out the placenta came. so i think if they don't rush things, it'll happen on its own.

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  • image dantoni1210:
    i didn't have the massage or pitocin. a couple minutes after delivery...out the placenta came. so i think if they don't rush things, it'll happen on its own.

    Yup, this.  Also, breastfeeding produces oxytocin which works like Pitocin to contract your uterus, causing the placenta to be expelled pretty much right away.

    [center]Mommy to William (Nov '09) & James (Sept '11)[/center]
  • I didn't get any pitocin for my placenta to pass. My doctor didn't even get to my room until about 10 minutes after I delivered my son, and when she got there she just sat down and pulled my placenta out, stitched me up, then left. That was by far the most disturbing and disgusting feeling I have ever had in my life. It's not like the cna is going to be giving your stomach a deep tissue massage or anything, it's just gentle rubbing to check the shrinkage of your uterus.
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