During the third stage of labor, the placenta (sometimes referred to as the “afterbirth”) is expelled from the uterus. Strong contractions continue after the baby is born in order to push the placenta out of the uterus and through the vagina. Most women are not aware of this process because of the excitement of giving birth. The placenta must be checked to make sure all of it has been expelled. If there was any tearing or an epi – siotomy was performed, this will need to be sewn up after the placenta is removed. Usually this stage lasts about 30 minutes or so.
In parts of Kenya, the placenta of a female baby is buried under the fireplace, and the placenta of a male baby is buried by the stalls of baby camels. This practice is thought to forever connect the children’s future to these locations. Some cultures bury their placentas, whereas others hang the placentas outside the home to show that a baby indeed arrived!