What happens to the placenta after I give birth?

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Dr. Linda S. Katz, MD
OBGYN (Obstetrician & Gynecologist)

Most placentas are discarded, but sometimes a doctor will request that it be evaluated. In this video, I will describe a growing trend of women taking the placenta.

Dr. Damen W. Hershberger, MD
OBGYN (Obstetrician & Gynecologist)

After you give birth the placenta is also birthed. This is the last stage of labor. If the placenta does not come out hemorrhage or infection can ensue.

Dr. Jeanne Falk, MD
OBGYN (Obstetrician & Gynecologist)

Once a baby has been delivered, the placenta generally comes out on its own. A lot of people are concerned that that's something that actually has to be done physically. Most of the time, it actually just happens without the mom doing anything. I rarely have a case of what we call a retained placenta (that's where a placenta doesn't deliver for more than 30 minutes after delivery). That would be a unique case, and we would actually do some kind of manipulation or surgery and make sure that all of the placenta has been removed. It's a minor procedure. As I said, it's rare that that's needed, but it sometimes happens.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.