If you’re planning to start a family, a Prega News pregnancy test kit should be kept handy. As you maneuver through the various stages of waiting and anticipation, a simple home test can give you the much awaited good news. And as soon as you see the two pink lines, you know the journey has started. After the initial celebrations and check-ups subside, the big question on most parents’ minds comes in - what about the delivery and which route are we taking?
When it comes to deliveries - you can either choose to have a C-section or a normal delivery. C-sections are often opted by doctors when there are chances of complications. If you have decided to go for the latter, here’s everything you need to know about it. In fact, according to the 2017-18 health survey by the National Statistical Office, 2 out of 3 women have normal deliveries in India.*
Normal or vaginal delivery, means the birthing process which is all-natural and generally without the use of any medication or external instruments. This process involves the birth of the baby through the birth canal (vagina) with naturally induced labour. However, some vaginal births also involve painkillers or forceps for easier delivery, which is explained in details below. In this form of delivery, the primary factors are the mother’s comfortable position, the baby’s positioning and pushes by the mother.
Normal delivery or vaginal delivery is where the mother experiences labour as the cervix dilates. Uterine contractions are timed and observed and these help move the baby’s head towards the vaginal opening. These contractions can feel like severe menstrual cramps and the pain differs from woman to woman. If it’s too painful, you can also opt for an epidural which eases the pain. Generally, the vaginal deliveries can last between 12-14 hours or more. And it gets easier with subsequent births.
However, during vaginal deliveries, there are also chances of injury as the baby moves down the birth canal. This may cause stretching and tearing of the tissue around the vagina and may need stitches. A vaginal birth can also result in some pain in the perineum area - the area between the vagina and the anus. Postpartum side effects of natural birth may include vaginal bleeding, swelling, soreness, cramps etc.
Recovery after a natural birth is fairly early and the baby and mother can have skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding sessions soon after birth. In most vaginal deliveries, the mother and baby are discharged in a day or two (24-48 hours), unless otherwise mentioned by the doctor.
Broadly, labour is divided into 3 stages and they are then further elaborated and divided for better understanding.
Stage 1: Cervix dilation
Stage 2: Baby birth through birth canal
Stage 3: Expulsion of placenta and membranes (afterbirths)
The first stage itself can last for over 36 hours and is generally spent at home. This stage involves changes etc. that can be observed up to a week before your actual delivery. What happens during this time is that the womb/uterus’ muscles contract so the cervix is shortened and dilated to enable the birth. This stage broadly involves 3 kinds of things that you will notice:
This is the stage where your cervix is fully dilated and the baby is slowly making its way to the birth canal (vagina) from the uterus. Since your body is trying to release something, it’s best to assist it in the process by pushing and staying calm. Avoid tensing up as this can further delay the process. This part of the labour can take anywhere between 30 minutes to 2 hours.
At this point, many women opt for an epidural to help alleviate the pain. Your doctor can guide you through the same in case the pain becomes unbearable for you. However, it has been observed that epidural can sometimes elongate the process.
The more you push, the easier it gets at this point. However, some women require further assistance and the doctor may choose to use forceps or vacuum extraction to make the process easier.
This final stage involves the delivery of the placenta. This can be done in two ways and which way to choose depends solely on your birth progress and experience. Sometimes, the placenta can be delivered by your efforts in 15 to 20 minutes after the baby’s birth. At other times, the process has to be induced and helped either with physical help from the doctor or with the use of medications.