Monitoring the Placenta
Throughout your pregnancy, your health care provider will monitor the health and development of your placenta. This is typically done during ultrasound examinations.
In particular, your health care provider will look for:
- Placental Grade: Placental grade refers to the age of the placenta. The age of the placenta can be determined by the number of white spots (calcifications) found on the surface of the organ. If your placenta has too many of these calcifications for your baby's age, it could be a sign that your placenta is aging too quickly.
- Placental Location: Your health care provider will also examine where your placenta has attached to your uterus. The placenta typically attaches at the top of the uterus, however it can also attach at the back or front of the uterus.
Delivery of the Placenta
The placenta is typically delivered within 30 minutes of birth. After your baby is born, your body will continue to experience contractions. These contractions are not usually as painful as those associated with childbirth, however.
During these contractions, the placenta will separate from the wall of your uterus, and begin to move down the birth canal. You will feel the urge to push and will be able to deliver the placenta.
It is important that the placenta be delivered as intact as possible. If any pieces of placenta remain in the body, there is a chance that you could develop an infection.
Signs of infection include uterine tenderness, bleeding, or fever. Visit your health care provider as soon as possible should you experience any of these symptoms.