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Normal Delivery - What To Expect During It?

Written and reviewed by
DNB (Obstetrics and Gynecology), DGO, MBBS
Gynaecologist, Ghaziabad  •  25 years experience
Normal Delivery - What To Expect During It?

Despite all the preparation from reading and discussions with family members and friends, there are always some things that can surprise a woman when the actual delivery happens. As the due date nears, one of the first thing to watch for is the water breaking. There would be a gushing of fluid which is clear, completely colorless and odorless. If it is green or brown, then reach for medical help immediately.

Another thing is to watch for are contractions movement of the uterus due to tightening and releasing, which indicates that the baby has begun to move down. These begin in the low back and move towards the front. Contractions that last a minute and occur every five minutes during an hour are an indication that you could be in labor. This means it is time to head to the hospital.

There would be a lot of pain and pressure during the delivery. A full-grown baby should pass through the vaginal canal, and the cervix makes way for it. Not just that, the baby has to put a good amount of pressure too to pass through this canal.

The actual labor, which is the process of complete descent of the baby can be divided into 3 stages – first, second, and third stage.

  1. The first stage has two parts to it. There is a slow, drawn-out phase that lasts for a few hours, and then there is a shorter, quicker phase, which is when most women get admitted to the hospital. The rate of progress of delivery is steady.
  2. The second stage, which lasts for about two hours, is when the cervix is minimally dilated and the mother is asked to push. The cervix is gradually dilated, and this stage lasts until after delivery is completed. Using an epidural anesthesia can prolong the duration of this phase. You could hear the doctor reel out some numbers and measurements like 4, 50, and -1. This indicates the progress of delivery and indicates how far the cervix is dilated and how far the baby has descended. This helps the team to identify and monitor progress of delivery.
  3. The third stage is from the time of delivery of the baby to the stage of extraction of the placenta. This would take about 30 minutes to be completed.
  4. Some common problems to expect include injury or tearing of the vagina or cervix, need for episiotomy, vomiting, passing of motion, anesthetic complications, etc. But what will remain later is the first sight of your baby.
  5. Delivery is a life-changing experience for a woman. No two women would have a similar experience, and each one would be unique and special as special and unique as herself. Happy delivery!

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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