Retained membranes? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 04-06-2011, 02:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi everyone,

My first post, even though I read mothering magazine for years. 


I gave birth to my daughter 2 days ago at home (I also have a 2 yo son), a wonderful birth and everything went well.  After the birth my MW said she is pretty sure that I retained the membranes (not the placenta), since they were not attached the placenta.  I am freaking out reading about having to go get them surgically removed etc. and my MW comes tommorow and so far is trying to be reassuring and saying 'they will pass' but it is now 2 days later (almost exactly) and still nothing.  I am getting very strong uterine contractions with every nursing session so the uterus is doing its job.  Some places I read say retaining membranes is not a big deal (as long as you don't get an infection- and I am keeping a close eye to be sure I have no signs), while others say you need a D & C (I am terrified of that!). 

My naturopath gave me a few things to try, and I am drinking red raspberry leaf tea as well.  Does anyone have experience with this?    


Edited to add- also, my placenta was "Duncan" so I am wondering if the membranes could have been 'lost' in all of the mess?  Does that make any sense? 

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#2 of 3 Old 04-08-2011, 07:34 PM
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The presentation of the placenta at birth doesn't generally affect the way the membranes come out; they remain attached to the placenta unless a piece broke off, in which case some membrane can be retained.  However, there is often a visible hole in the membranes where the bag ruptured and the baby passed through.

Was there an actual jagged edge on the delivered membranes indicating an additional tear?

The primary concern at 2 days pp would be your bleeding - is it within normal?  This is important because retained membranes would be adhering to the wall of the uterus and prevent involution (the returning of the uterus to pre-pregnant size) which would lead to a heavy lochial flow, or even hemorrhage.  As you don't seem to be experiencing an emergency, it would seem that the fragments could have passed concealed in your lochia.

All that to say, how are you doing now?  Have things resolved?

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#3 of 3 Old 04-09-2011, 08:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks!  The placenta looked completely intact, she just said that the membranes were missing.  I had a fast return to size of the uterus (and painful- ouchy!!), and bleeding was totally normal.  I think I must have passed them and I did have one day where the blood was all stringy and I had to pull it out a bit (sorry if TMI).  My MW said that sounded like them. 


So, fingers crossed that I am totally fine.  Thanks!

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