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Normal Vaginal Delivery

Vaginal Delivery

A vaginal delivery is when a person gives birth through their vagina. Vaginal deliveries are the most common and most preferred method of delivery. This is because they are typically low-risk and carry the most benefits to the birthing person and baby.

Healthcare providers prefer vaginal deliveries because they're usually safest for the fetus and the birthing person. A vaginal delivery occurs most often between weeks 37 and 42 of pregnancy.

What are the types of vaginal delivery?

An obstetrician provides routine prenatal care to people who are pregnant. They also diagnose and treat complications during pregnancy. Obstetricians deliver your baby and monitor you after childbirth.

Your obstetrician is responsible for:

  • Spontaneous vaginal delivery:A vaginal delivery that happens on its own and without labor-inducing drugs.
  • Induced vaginal delivery:Drugs or other techniques initiate labor and prepare your cervix. This is also called labor induction.
  • Assisted vaginal delivery:A vaginal birth that occurs with the help of forceps or a vacuum device to get your baby out. Both spontaneous and induced vaginal delivery can be assisted.

Stages of labor

Labor is characterized by uterine contractions which push the fetus through the birth canal and results in delivery.Labor is divided into three stages.

  • First stage of labor starts with the onset of contractions and finishes when the cervix is fully dilated at 10 cm.[15] This stage can further be divided into latent and active labor. The latent phase is defined by cervical dilation of 0 to 6 cm. The active phase is defined by cervical dilation of 6 cm to 10 cm.
  • Second stage of labor starts when the cervix is dilated to 10 cm and finishes with the birth of the fetus. This is stage is characterized by strong contractions and active pushing by the mother. It can last from 20 minutes to 2 hours.
  • Third stage of labor starts after the birth of the fetus and is finished when the placenta is delivered.It can last from 5 to 30 minutes.