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What is active management?

Your midwife will give you an injection of oxytocin into your thigh as you give birth, or soon after. This makes your womb contract.

Evidence suggests it's better not to cut the umbilical cord immediately, so your midwife will wait to do this between one and five minutes after birth. This may be done sooner if there are concerns about you or your baby – for example, if the cord is wound tightly around your baby's neck.

Once the placenta has come away from your womb, your midwife pulls the cord – which is attached to the placenta – and pulls the placenta out through your vagina. This usually happens within 30 minutes of your baby being born.

Active management speeds up the delivery of the placenta and lowers your risk of having heavy bleeding after the birth (postpartum haemorrhage), but it increases the chance of you feeling and being sick. It can also make afterpains (contraction-like pains after birth) worse.

Click here to read more about preventing heavy bleeding and what happens straight after the birth (opens in new tab)

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