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What You Should Know About Vaginal Delivery

What You Should Know About Vaginal Delivery

The thought of pushing an eight pound baby out of a tiny opening may make you feel woozy. However, vaginal births are natural and have been performed since the beginning of time.

If you’re pregnant, there’s some things you should know before you enter the hospital for your baby’s arrival. A vaginal delivery isn’t a walk in the park, but could be your best option for a safe and healthy delivery.

At Collaborative Women’s Care, our team are experts in delivering babies, through both vaginal delivery and cesarean section. Dr. Eduardo Valdes is our obstetrics specialist, who helps you navigate your pregnancy for a safe vaginal delivery.

The steps of a vaginal delivery

vaginal delivery is by far the most common way to give birth to your baby. This is because it’s both natural and relatively safe in most cases of births. Vaginal births make up about 68% of all births within the United States.

During a vaginal delivery, your uterus begins to contract, which helps to thin and expand the size of your cervix. This allows you to push your baby out through your birth canal, or vagina. There are several steps in a vaginal birth, which include:

Labor

Labor is the first stage of a vaginal delivery, and begins when your uterus starts to contract. This helps to soften your cervix and open it up to allow your baby to safely travel down your birth canal.

There are different stages of labor, including early labor, active labor, and transitional labor. Each stage gets your body ready for the birth of your baby through your vagina.

Birth

This stage begins when your cervix is 10 centimeters dilated. This is the stage where Dr. Valdes and his team help you through pushing during contractions to help your baby move from your uterus to the birth canal.

The end result is your baby exiting your body through your vagina. This can take several hours, but is typically quicker when it’s not your first vaginal birth.

Placenta delivery

After your baby is born, there’s still another step to go before your vaginal delivery is over. The placenta needs to be delivered after the baby. This begins after your baby is born, and may last up to a half hour afterwards. You’ll need to push to help deliver the placenta.

You have options

If you’re able to have a vaginal delivery, it’s a safe option for both you and your baby. However, it’s no walk in the park, so you do have options to help you with the pain. There are typically two types of vaginal deliveries, which include:

Natural delivery

Natural childbirth is when you go through a vaginal delivery without any pain medications. While this seems barbaric, it’s actually how many women choose to deliver their baby.

If you choose a natural delivery, you’ll feel all the sensations during labor. This includes pain and pressure in your pelvic area and vagina. Many people describe the feeling during birth as the same feeling as when you need to have a bowel movement.

Epidural

If the thought of pain is unsettling, you can choose to have pain medications or an epidural during the birthing process. An epidural is a nerve block that numbs the nerves that innervate your lower abdomen and vaginal canal.

What you feel during birth with an epidural depends greatly on the effectiveness of the block. If the epidural is effective, you may only feel slight pressure during the birth of your child. In other cases of less effective epidurals, you may feel more pressure that might be slightly uncomfortable.

Complications of vaginal delivery

If you’re on track to give birth to your child through a vaginal delivery, you’re on a safe route. However, just like any other type of birth, vaginal deliveries do carry a small risk of certain complications.

Although you may have a vaginal delivery without any issues, you should be aware of the complications that can arise, including:

There’s no way to know ahead of time if you’ll suffer from any of these complications. Dr. Valdes discusses your overall health and the health of your unborn baby with you beforehand to determine the best way for you to deliver. 

There are some cases where a vaginal delivery isn’t the best option for you or the baby. If you fall into this category, Dr. Valdes helps you decide what alternative option is best for your health.

If you’re pregnant and need an expert obstetrician to help you with your birth plans, call our office today at 305-200-3878 to book an appointment. You can also schedule a consultation using our online booking feature.

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