Management of the Third Stage of Labor


  • Susan McDonald RN, RM, CHN, BApplSc, PhD

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    • Susan McDonald, RN, RM, CHN, BApplSc, PhD, FACM, is the Professor of Midwifery at La Trobe University and has a joint appointment with The Mercy Hospital for Women, Heidelberg Victoria, Australia.

Susan McDonald, RN, RM, CHN, PhD, FACM, La Trobe University Midwifery Professorial Unit, Level 4, Room 4.071, Mercy Hospital for Women, 163 Studley Road, Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia 3084. E-mail:


Management of the third stage of labor has been an issue of discussion, concern, and continued debate for the past two decades. Despite the many strategies employed and the divergent approaches to care and philosophies espoused, there has not been a significant, consistent reduction in the postpartum hemorrhage rates reported in industrialized countries in recent times. This article explores the strategies that have been and are currently being used in an effort to reduce the risk of postpartum hemorrhage.