The Placenta

The Placenta

Each placenta will be a different size, depending on the size of your baby. They can be the side of a small dinner plate and about 2.5cm thick. It’s an amazing organ!

The placenta and the membranes have been protecting and growing your baby for all these months.

When its ready to release, you will see the cord lengthening (getting longer) and as shown in the next video, this happens when the placenta falls away from the womb and is ready to be birthed.

When it falls off you will also see a trickle of blood, which is normal.

It is normal because, when you are full term (37-42 weeks), you have around 1/3 (one third) more blood volume in your body, to meet the needs of your pregnancy.

When you are pregnant, there is around 500mls of blood travelling through the placenta every minute, this blood flow carries on till the placenta is no longer needed.

At this point, when it falls off, a blood clot is formed to stop you from bleeding too much. The blood that you may see or feel is the small amount that will be lost as the placenta comes away.

If you feel you would like to, perhaps you can ask to see your placenta.

Now let’s watch the video to see how it comes away and what happens.

Special Circumstances
  • There are some reasons why you may be offered a drug to help in this phase of birth. These could include, induction of labour, an existing clotting disorder or longer labour. Your healthcare provider will discuss your individual circumstances with you.