Normal delivery is a completely natural delivery of a baby by the mother without much medical intervention.
Stages of normal delivery:
1. First stage
During the first stage of the normal delivery process cervix softens and stretches so that the baby can be delivered. This stage is the longest and can last up to 12/13 hours during a woman’s first delivery and about 6/7 hours for subsequent deliveries. As this stage progresses the contractions become stronger and more frequent. In the end of this stage the cervix is almost 10cm dilated and contractions are strong, painful and lasting for 60-90 minutes, occurring every 2-3 minutes.
2. Second Stage
This stage begins after the complete dilation of the cervix. Intense contractions continue, helping to push the baby head first through the birth canal. The mother is asked to push with every contraction and may find herself highly fatigued. She may also experience intense pain around the vaginal opening as the baby makes its way out. At this stage, the doctor may decide to make an incision (episiotomy) to widen the vaginal opening to make the baby’s emergence easier. The mother must continue to push till the baby finally makes it out into the world.
3. Third Stage
Placenta Is Pushed Out
In this final stage the entire placenta is pushed out through the vaginal canal. The placenta may be delivered from a few minutes to half an hour after the baby is born. The process may be manually assisted by massaging the lower abdomen.
Benefits of normal delivery
The benefits of vaginal delivery include:
- Avoids risks associated with instruments used for a C-section delivery.
- Lower risk of infection for mother and child
- Quicker recovery for mother and shorter hospital stay
- The natural bacteria and microbes of the vagina transferred from mother to child boost the baby’s immune system, readying it for life outside the protected womb.
- Babies are at lower risk for respiratory problems since the labour contractions help prepare the baby’s lungs for breathing
- Normal delivery stimulates lactation because the birthing process activates numerous natural mothering hormones.