Third stage of labour
After the excitement of giving birth, the delivery of the placenta is somewhat of an anti-climax. However, it is potentially a time of great hazard.
(Getty Images)

There is always a chance of complications such as the mother haemorrhaging or a retained placenta that may require a manual removal. Thus, this stage needs to be well managed. The use of oxytocic drugs, early clamping and division of the umbilical cord and controlled cord traction for delivery of the placenta are all measures used to prevent any of the above complications.

This stage usually happens within 30 minutes of birth.

Placenta phase and post partum


  • The umbilical cord is cut and unless there are complications, the baby is usually placed on the mother's abdomen.

Contractions are:

  • Mild and not regular.

Mother's reaction:

  • Not too aware of the placenta
  • Relief and elation
  • Hunger
  • Many women get after-pains or "the shakes" after birth

Mother should do the following:

  • Gently push when asked to
  • This is a good time for the first breastfeeding, which is enjoyable for mother and baby and also tightens the uterus and decreases bleeding

Father/birth partner should do the following:

  • Congratulate the partner on how well she did.
More about the stages of labour:

The first stage
The second stage

Read Parent24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Most Read


Want to know what your baby looks like and what you can expect at this stage?



Everything from parties to pre-schools in your area.

Jobs - Find your dream job

New Business Executive

Dante Personnel Recruitment
R12 000 - R18 000 Per Month

Implementation Coordinator

Neo Batho (Pty) Ltd
R16 000 - R20 000 Per Month

New Business Developer (Fire / Detection and Protection )

Neo Batho (Pty) Ltd
R25 000 - R30 000 Per Month

Property - Find a new home