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Table 4 Themes

From: Birthing the placenta: women’s decisions and experiences

Before: decision making During: birthing the placenta After: the placenta
Doing the research:  Women had little or no information from their care providers and sought information outside of the care provider relationship Boundaries of time:  Women were aware that there were expectations regarding how long they could wait for the placenta. Care providers managed the boundaries of time by intervening to facilitate the birth of the placenta. Looking:  Women valued the opportunity to look at their placenta. Care providers acted as gatekeepers to this experience.
Natural birth:  Women who chose expectant management considered the birth of the placenta to be an intrinsic element of natural birth. Focusing on baby:  During the time between the birth of the baby and the birth of the placenta, women’s attention was on their baby rather than the placenta or their care providers. Keeping:  Seven women talked about keeping their placenta. Five of the women had their placenta encapsulated.
  Sensations:  Birthing the placenta was described as easy, gentle and painless. In some cases care provider actions were described as uncomfortable and painful