Normal vaginal birth is the childbirth process which takes place without any form of medical intervention. Nowadays to alleviate the pain and speed up the delivery process medications might be used. All in all, normal delivery is, in other words, completely natural delivery of a baby by the mother without any medical intervention.
1. Labour and effacement of the cervix
It is considered as the first stage of the normal delivery process. For the baby to be born, the cervix needs to become soft and stretch so that the baby can be delivered.
This first stage has three sub-stages:
Early labor: The cervix of the expectant mother opens to about 4 centimeters. You will probably spend most of the early labor at home. At this stage, the expectant mother can continue to perform her usual activities, relax often, drink plenty of clear fluids, eat light meals whilst keeping keep track of the contractions
Active labor: At this stage, the cervix of the expectant mother may open from 4 to 7 centimeters. This is the stage when the mother should be taken to the hospital. The contractions occur every 3 to 4 minutes and each of them lasts for about 60 seconds.
Transitioning to the second stage: The cervix at this stage opens from 7 to 10 cms. This is the most painful and stressful part of the labor for most women as the cervix widens up to its fullest. The contractions occur every two to three minutes and last for up to 60 to 90 seconds.
2. Pushing & birth of the baby
Once the cervix completely widens or dilates the second stage of labor begins. The contractions at this stage continue to be strong, though they often come farther apart.
The frequent contractions help to push the baby down headfirst through the birth canal. The expectant mother’s health care provider may ask her to push with every contraction. The mother will feel an intense pressure similar to the urge while undergoing a bowel movement.
The mother may feel highly irritated at this stage and may alternate between wanting to be touched/soothed or being left alone. She will be highly fatigued and may also feel nauseous. The intensity at the end of the first stage of labour will continue in this pushing phase.
3. Delivering the placenta
After the birth of the baby, the contractions continue to push out the placenta, a process also known as the afterbirth. The delivery of the placenta can take from a few minutes to a half-hour after the baby is born.
The healthcare provider may ask the mother to place the baby on her breast, as this stimulates uterine contractions. Alternatively, the healthcare attendant may gently massage the new mother’s abdomen to help stimulate placental separation.
Most babies are ready to nurse a few minutes immediately after birth while others may take a little longer. Healthcare providers usually ask the mother to nurse the child as soon as possible after birth, provided the mother is willing to breastfeed.
Nursing right after birth also helps the uterus to contract and so decrease the amount of bleeding.