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The placenta provides the baby with nutrients and oxygen from the mother and carries away fetal waste. Following delivery, the uterus naturally contracts to push the placenta out of the uterus. In addition, the delivering practitioner will assist by gently pressing the abdomen to work the placenta free of the uterus. Delivery of the placenta is typically painless and takes approximately 15 minutes. Once the placenta is delivered, it is examined to see if the placental tissue is healthy and in one piece. At times, the placenta can break off and cause bleeding in the uterus. The placenta is commonly referred to as the afterbirth. Its successful delivery signals the end of the final stage of childbirth.

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