... because you can never be too prepared for labour!
By stage three, you'll have met your baby - amazing! But labour's not over yet. Stage three refers to delivering the placenta. You can do this naturally, which takes about an hour, or you can have an injection of syntometrine to speed things along. Most hospitals give an injection automatically unless you say you don't want one, in which case you'll normally deliver the placenta in less than 10 minutes.
'There are benefits for your baby if you deliver the placenta naturally,' says independent midwife Brenda van der Kooy (wlim.co.uk). 'The midwife can let the cord stop pulsing naturally, which means your baby will benefit from the red blood cells and stem cells it was intended to have via the cord.' The downside is it can take longer than a 'managed' third stage with an injection. It's generally advisable to have the injection if you've had an epidural, as these may hinder the natural delivery of the placenta.
'The downsides of the injection are that it can make you feel nauseous - and it triggers a big contraction, which you might find painful.'
The first 48 hours with your new baby