by Marion Toepke McLean
Copyright 2011 Midwifery Today, Inc. All rights reserved.
Editor’s note: This article first appeared in Midwifery Today, Issue 97, Spring 2011.
The baby is born successfully and begins to nurse on its own. The delighted family crowds around. The midwife has her eye on the cord, watching for signs of placental separation: the lengthening of the cord, the little gush of blood. From time to time she gently and unobtrusively palpates the fundus, checking for firmness and for a rise in fundal height. She does not massage or press down on the fundus. She has not pulled on the cord, nor has she made any attempt to deliver the placenta. The vital signs are normal. So far, so good!