In 1794, the first successful c-section delivery was performed where both the mother and the baby survived. Before the discovery of this procedure, many mothers lost their lives due to complications during childbirth and even some babies were unable to survive the process. While c-section is among the most remarkable achievements in medical history, medical experts still consider natural childbirth as the best approach in case of no complications. It is because a normal delivery is a natural process that offers several benefits to the mother and the newborn baby and poses minimal risks. Due to the advancements in medical technology, it has also become easy to predict the occurrences in pregnancy and carry out a normal delivery smoothly.
Given below is a descriptive account of the stages of a normal delivery, how it is performed, how long it takes, and what benefits it offers.
What Is Normal Delivery?
Normal delivery is also called normal childbirth or vaginal delivery. It is the natural birth process where the baby travels from the mother's womb to the outside world through her vaginal canal, also called the birth canal.
Ideally, the baby should be positioned with the back of its head aligned with the cervical opening of the mother. Its face should be towards the mother's back with the chin tucked close to the chest. This allows the doctor or the caretaker to gently hold the baby's head while the rest of its body is pushed out by vaginal contractions.
If complications occur like the abnormal position of the baby or the umbilical cord getting wrapped around the baby's neck, a c-section is called for.
Natural delivery is the best approach to go for if you have the option and cesarean childbirth should only be done in emergencies. According to the WHO, c-section deliveries within the range of 10 to 15% of the total number of childbirth in a country is an acceptable and healthy figure. However, the proportion of c-section deliveries in India is much higher than this.
What Are The Different Stages Of Normal Delivery?
Normal delivery is a systemic step-wise process where, once the baby is fully developed, the mother's body slowly prepares to compel it out through timely contractions and dilation of the cervix. The whole event can be broken down into three steps.
Labour And Effacement
During this period the contractions start and, gradually, they get more frequent and intense. During this time, the cervix softens and slowly widens, called cervical dilation. Due to the effacement, the mucus plug at the cervix falls off causing the "water break" leading to watery and slightly bloody discharge.
When the labour is at its peak in the active phase, the cervix is fully dilated up to 7 to 10 centimeters. The contractions occur every 2 to 3 minutes and last for 60 to 90 seconds.
This is a highly stressful stage for the mother and can cause irritation, fatigue, nausea, and other symptoms.
At the stage of complete cervical dilation and strong and frequent contractions, the baby's head begins to enter the birth canal through the cervical opening, followed by its whole body. This sensation feels very similar to having a bowel movement due to the pressure on the rectum. With timely pushes along with the contractions, the baby slowly exits the mother's body through the vaginal opening.
The contractions continue even after the baby comes out of the mother's body. Within 5 to 30 minutes of childbirth, the contractions push out the placenta, the sac in which the baby developed. This marks the end of the normal delivery procedure.
How Is Normal Delivery Done?
For a successful and healthy normal delivery, you need to keep in touch with your doctor and get regular checkups. The delivery process usually includes the following:
- In early labour, the contractions are 10 to 30 minutes apart and don't last for more than 30 seconds. Here, the cervix is usually 4 centimeters dilated. During this time, you can still stay at home and relax as much as possible. Eat light meals and drink plenty of fluids.
- Once you go into the active labour phase, the contractions will start getting intense and come every 3 to 4 minutes and last for up to 60 seconds. Your water might break at this time and it would be best to go to the hospital at this stage.
- At maximum cervical dilation, the baby starts entering the birth canal. During this time, your doctor or caretaker would ask you to push with every contraction. If needed, the doctor would perform an episiotomy and make an incision between your vaginal opening and rectum for the baby to come out easily.
- When the baby is out, the doctor would ensure it is healthy and then place it on your breast. If allowed, you could also nurse it within a few minutes.
- The medical assistants or the caretaker would then rub your abdomen in sync with the contractions to take out the placenta. It has been observed that being in skin contact with the baby and nursing can stimulate uterine contractions.
- Once the placenta is out and the umbilical cord is separated, the doctor would clean and stitch you up. The baby would also be cleaned and both your vitals would be checked.
How Many Hours Will It Take For Normal Delivery?
The time duration of a normal delivery can last anywhere between 6 to 18 hours. Sometimes, it can even go over 24 hours. It is the labour period that takes up most of the time because the doctors cannot proceed with the delivery if the mother's cervix is not dilated enough.
Usually, a woman experiences the longest labour during her first pregnancy. The duration of the labour period for her often decreases in further pregnancies. Starting from the second pregnancy, the contractions of the uterus are more intense in terms of compelling the child out of the body. After the mother's cervix is fully effaced, the childbirth process is usually completed within 30 minutes to 1 hour.
The exact duration of labour and the ease of the childbirth process varies among women.
What Are The Benefits Of Normal Delivery?
Being the most natural process of childbirth, normal delivery is lot safer than other childbirth techniques. It offers several benefits including:
- Quick recovery after childbirth
- The short duration of stay in the hospital
- No risks associated with cesarean section childbirth like post-surgical hemorrhage
- Very low risk of infection
- Can start breastfeeding sooner
- Less chance of complications during the next pregnancy
- Low risk of the baby having a respiratory problem
- While passing through the birth canal, the baby comes in contact with the natural microbes that live in the vaginal tract. This contributes to the development of immunity in the newborn baby
Why Choose Dr. Ravjyot Kaur As The Best Gynecologist In Gurgaon For Normal Delivery?
At Mulberry Women Care, we deal with your medical concerns with great care and expertise. Our specialist, Dr. Ravjyot Kaur, is the best gynecologist in Gurgaon for normal delivery with high proficiency in her knowledge of the field and possesses unmatched expertise in providing diagnoses, interpreting the results, and assisting treatment accordingly. Abreast with all the new trends, Dr. Ravjyot Kaur always assists her patients with the best possible approach to treatment and care for all their issues.
Mulberry Women Care is embedded with the latest hi-tech imaging instrumentations, ensuring accurate and high-quality imaging. We always consider the comfort and well-being of our patients and make sure to provide them with a clean and friendly environment for their diagnosis and treatment.
To get the most reliable team of medical experts for your normal delivery, book an appointment at Mulberry Women Care now!