Labor Stage, Third

Preventing Postpartum Hemorrhage: Managing the Third Stage of Labor - Article

ABSTRACT: Postpartum hemorrhage is a significant cause of maternal morbidity and mortality. Most postpartum hemorrhages are caused by uterine atony and occur in the immediate postpartum period. Expectant or physiologic management of the third stage of labor has been compared with active management in several studies. Active management involves administration of uterotonic medication after the delivery of the baby, early cord clamping and cutting, and controlled traction of the umbilical cord while awaiting placental separation and delivery. Good evidence shows that active management of the third stage of labor provides a better balance of benefits and harms and should be practiced routinely to decrease the risk of postpartum hemorrhage. Oxytocin, ergot alkaloids, and prostaglandins have been compared, as have timing and route of administration of these uterotonic medications. Oxytocin is the uterotonic agent of choice; it can be administered as 10 units intramuscularly or as 20 units diluted in 500 mL normal saline as an intravenous bolus, and can safely and effectively be given to the mother with the delivery of the baby or after the delivery of the placenta.

Should Active Management of the Third Stage of Labor Be Routine? - Cochrane for Clinicians

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