Third Stage of Labor

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What happens in the Third Stage of Labor?

The third stage of labor begins with delivery of fetus and ends with expulsion of placenta. There may be a gush of blood from the vagina, change in uterine shape from long to globular, and lengthening of umbilical cord.

Duration:

• 30 minutes in all women.

Prolonged Third Stage:

• Inadequate uterine contractions.

• Placenta not delivered.

• Abnormal placental implantation if placenta doesn't separate (eg., placenta accreta).

Management of Prolonged Third Stage:

• Manual placental removal.

• Hysterectomy.

Additional Reading:

Notes on Stages of Labor:

1. Diagram of Stages of Labor
2. First Stage of Labor
3. Second Stage of Labor
4. Third Stage of Labor
5. Fourth Stage of Labor

Tests for Fetal Well-Being:

1. Notes on Non-Stress Test
2. Notes on Contraction Stress Test
3. Unresponsive Fetus Algorithm

Periodic Changes in Fetal Heart Rate:

1. Fetal Heart Rate Accelerations
2. Variable Decelerations of Fetal Heart Rate
3. Early Decelerations of Fetal Heart Rate
4. Late Decelerations of Fetal Heart Rate

Types of Spontaneous Abortion:

1. Notes on Complete Abortion
2. Notes on Incomplete Abortion
3. Notes on Threatened Abortion
4. Notes on Inevitable Abortion
5. Notes on Missed Abortion

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