When a mother delivers her baby without any surgical intervention, it is called a normal delivery. There are many factors associated with pregnancy and birth which make the difference between normal delivery and c-section delivery. The age of the mother, the position of the baby, the health parameters of mother and baby and the term of the pregnancy, etc.
There are several stages of the labour and delivery process when a woman gives birth to a baby through normal delivery.
First Stage: Labour and effacement of the cervix: During this stage, the cervix dilates and even becomes softer. The first stage of labour can last for 12 to 13 hours when it is the first baby and for following deliveries it is usually around 8 hours or so (on average). This stage is divided into three parts and these are early labour, active labour, and the transition phase. Early labour is when the contractions come after a gap of 5 minutes and the cervix ends up dilating to 4 centimeters. In the active labour phase of the delivery, the gap between the contractions goes down to 3 minutes and the cervix dilates to 7 centimeters. In the early phase of labour the mother can stay at home but when it gains speed to active labour she needs to reach the hospital as the time for delivery is near. The transition phase is when the cervix has dilated fully to 10 centimeters and the contractions come quickly at 2-minute intervals.
Second Stage: The mother pushes the baby out and the pushes are timed with every contraction. The baby comes out head first via the birth canal and sometimes an incision (episiotomy) needs to be made to make the vagina opening bigger to help the baby come out seamlessly.
Third Stage: Also called afterbirth, in this stage once the baby is born the placenta Is pushed out via the vaginal canal. It may be helped along by the doctor by putting pressure on the lower abdomen.
Although relatively safe, there are few complications and risks associated with normal delivery and these are,
The benefits of vaginal delivery are: