Did you get to see the amazing placenta that nourished and provided your baby with oxygen and nutrients? It is fascinating that you grow an organ that has multiple functions and does the job of heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, and a gland as it produces hormones too, and then you discard the organ that you grew after it is no longer needed.
One of my favorite things I get to do for my doula clients after their birth is to give them a placenta tour and point out all the cool features of the placenta. I have even done placenta tours for placenta encapsulation clients before I take it with me to make the print, cord keepsake, and placenta pills.
The placenta or afterbirth consists of the placenta itself, which has a mother's side and a baby's side, the amniotic sacs of which there are two, and the umbilical cord that is the lifeline to baby. Placentas have been called the tree of life for thousands of years in cultures all over the world. The baby's side of the placenta really does look like a tree and you can see that in the video!
Birthing the placenta is referred to as the 3rd stage of labor. It takes about 5-30 minutes for the placenta to detach from the uterine wall and just a couple of minutes, if that, for you to push it out. It doesn't hurt to push it out as there are no bones. Its a bit like pushing out a bag of jello.
During my childbirth classes I show a Khan Academy video about the placenta that does an amazing job at explaining how the nutrient exchange between mother and baby works. You don't share blood with baby but baby takes up nutrients from your blood that is in the placenta. You are doing this right this very second with your baby!!
Check it out and let me know what you think!