The afterbirth | The course of a birth

The afterbirth

The afterbirth phase is the period between the birth of the child and the complete birth of the placenta. After the birth, the birth pangs turn into afterbirth pangs and the placenta begins to detach from the uterus. The midwife can support the birth of the placenta by gently pulling on the umbilical cord.

The administration of the hormone oxytocin can also support the afterbirth. The placenta is born about five to 30 minutes after the baby is born. This must be checked directly for completeness, as remnants can become a risk of bleeding and infection for the mother.

If there are missing parts, they are scraped out. If there is a perineal tear or an episiotomy, this is now surgically treated and covered. In the first hours to days there is still an increased risk of bleeding for the mother.

After the birth, medication can help the uterus to contract, thus reducing the risk of bleeding. The baby is examined and dried during the postpartum period and then placed on the mother’s breast. With the birth of the placenta, the whole birth ends and the mother and baby can be taken to the normal ward.

Complications during the birth process

The first complication that can occur during birth is premature rupture of the bladder. An infection can cause amniotic fluid to be lost even before the onset of labour. In most cases, this leads to the birth of the child within 48 hours and can also mean premature birth.

During birth, various complications can lead to a deterioration in the heartbeat of the child. One cause of this is pressure on the umbilical cord, which in some cases becomes trapped between the maternal pelvis and the baby’s head. This leads to an oxygen deficiency in the child and can have serious late effects.

The position of the child can also lead to complications. Not all babies lie head first in the birth canal and a lateral position can complicate the birth. Multiple pregnancies can also lead to difficulties during a natural birth.

In addition, the baby may stop giving birth at any time during the birth. If the child is already in the birth canal, the natural birth must be continued. If complications are foreseeable in advance, a caesarean section should be considered.

Another complication is a danger to the mother. If the mother’s circulation cannot withstand the strain, surgical delivery may also be necessary. .

The umbilical cord is a well-protected system that supplies the unborn child with oxygen and nutrients. In about 20 percent of all children, the umbilical cord wraps itself around the baby’s neck during birth. A loose wrap does not pose any danger to the child.

After the birth of the head, the midwife checks whether the umbilical cord is wrapped around the neck. If so, the midwife carefully places the umbilical cord over the head. If the wrapping is tight, the umbilical cord must be cut. Only if there are abnormalities in the CTG, an emergency C-section may be necessary.