Thank you to Laura and Richard for sharing their positive birth with retained placenta. I have included notes at the end to help you understand what retained placenta is the incidence and factors that can help with the separation of the placenta.
I am really pleased that Laura and Richard signed up to a Talking Babies Midwife Led Antenatal course doing so meant that they could stay calm, feel safe and understand the intervention being offered to help.
‘To Hi Emily
Hope you’re good. I’ve got another birth story for you that I’m happy for you to share on your page.
Ava Brielle was born at 7.35am on 6th August. I started having mild contractions on my birthday, which was 4th August and then my waters broke at 2am on 5th. I really wanted to go to the stand alone Midwife Led Birthing Unit, I wanted to be in one of their lovely rooms with a pool but because my contractions weren’t close enough together with 24 hours of my waters breaking I was advised to go to the Consultant led Maternity unit to be induced. From your classes you’d urged us to be open to anything so this helped me not be disappointed and it turned out I didn’t need to be induced in the end because I was dilated enough by the time I got there. The gas and air kept me focused on my breathing and got me through it.
I’m actually really glad I was at the consultant led unit, as the Midwives were so incredible and I had a bit of a complication. My placenta was attached and they couldn’t remove it even with the injection so I had to go to theatre to have it removed with a spinal to numb me from the waist down. It took a while and they did some stitches at the same time but the session you did with us on c-sections made it a lot less scary because it was similar in terms of the amount of people who were in the room so I understood what they were doing. Richard and Ava were allowed in the room with me so she was close to me and Richard got to hold her for ages before I breast fed for the first time.
Ava was 7.4 pounds and she’s doing really well. Thank you for all the honest information and advice during your classes. I’m so pleased we attended so that we both had a calmer and better experience with the knowledge. We had a lovely group too and we’ve been in contact via our WhatsApp group but not managed to get all the babies together yet.
Laura and Richard’
Talking Babies Takes A Closer Look
‘My placenta was attached and they couldn’t remove it.’
I want to take a moment to help you to understand ‘retained placenta’. Without knowledge it can seem very scary, it doesn’t need to be at all. Retained placenta means that the after birth simply isn’t birthing naturally despite best efforts to support it to happen. When this occurs you will require some extra support from your caregivers. Remember this is RARE the incidence in the UK is around 1.5-3% of all births. The incidence varies because of different papers and individual risk factors can alter the incidence. For example, it is known through research that a woman who has previously had a c-section will have a slightly increased risk of having a retained placenta.
I want to reassure you that retained placentas are very well managed here in the UK. In the first instance medicines are used to encourage separation if this fails then under a spinal anaesthetic (making you numb from chest down) a doctor will gently and carefully separate the placenta away from the uterus using their hand. This procedure is often done in a theatre setting.
There are ways to encourage placental separation.
After your baby has birthed your body still needs lots of the hormone Oxytocin to flow. Oxytocin is our very shy, love hormone but, it is responsible for our tightenings. In other words Oxytocin is the key ingredient to a perfect placental separation. Therefore, you still want a calm, private and romantic environment post birth of your baby. Skin to skin with your little one and giving them your complete, undivided attention will allow oxytocin to flood your body! Big tip: Avoid calling anyone until the placenta births! I’ve seen the negative effects of this so much. It is amazing how such a simple act can negatively impact on the natural physiology of birth. Another trick that can help is to encourage an early breastfeed. Breastfeeding increases the production of oxytocin and is well linked to helping the uterus to shrink back to where it belongs – in your pelvis.
The key is to **LET YOUR BODY DO ITS THING**
However, sometimes women, babies and placentas need some help. Intervention can be a wonderful, free gift – we are lucky here in the UK to have it on the NHS! But, we only want intervention if it is absolutely necessary. Laura and Richard knew this and can hand on heart say that they had a retained placenta that required help. I know that they will not look back on their birth with any regrets or what ifs. Instead they will just smile.
If you would like to prepare properly too we’d love to help! Join the next Talking Babies Antenatal or Hypnobirthing course today. All the courses are MIDWIFE led. Click here for courses and dates.
Feel free to take some time reading through some more of the real, positive birth stories on the Talking Babies Blog. All are written by past Talking Babies clients for you guys!