What is it?

Normal delivery, or vaginal delivery, is the birth of babies through the vagina. There are three stages to each vaginal delivery.
The first stage is divided into early labor and active labor, which begins with regular contractions, causing the cervix to dilate and soften, shorten and thin. It is the longest stage in labor. Early labor begins with contractions, and it may even last several days, for new moms. During this phase, the mucus plug, which is a pink discharge may be noticed.
Active labor begins with a dilation of 6 cm and ends when the cervix is 10cm dilated. Contractions are stronger, frequent and closer together. The pain from contractions will also become worse. This can take a few hours. During the meantime, changing positions is recommended, rolling on a large rubber ball, taking showers, taking walks and having gentle massages. During active delivery, the woman can ask for epidural anesthesia, that provides pain relief

The second stage is when the baby is born. It starts when the cervix is 10 cm dilated. It can take from a few minutes to 3 hours. This is the stage where the woman pushes the baby into the birth canal. Pushes might change during this stage, and your health care provider may lead you through it. The baby’s head is the first to come out, followed by the rest of his body.

The third stage of labor is delivering the placenta. It lasts 5-30 minutes. During this stage, medications to encourage uterine contractions and minimize bleeding may be given. Once the placenta is out, it has to be examined to check it is intact. A member of your health care team will massage your abdomen to make sure the uterus feels firm.

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☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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