A natural process and the most common type of childbirth, a vaginal delivery occurs when a pregnant woman gives birth through her vagina (the birth canal). During a vaginal birth or natural delivery, the uterus contracts and thins the cervix which then opens, allowing the baby to be pushed out of the birth canal. It is generally the safest form of delivery and usually occurs between weeks 37 to 41 of pregnancy.
There are 3 types of vaginal delivery, namely:
Although a vaginal delivery is the most preferred option, it may not be possible or safe for some pregnant women. For example,
Before a vaginal delivery, your cervix is long and firm. But when your body is ready to deliver, you will experience contractions which thins and opens the cervix, this is when you will go through the 3 stages of labour.
First stage of labour
Second stage of labour
A small number of pregnant women may require some assistance to deliver their baby, this may come in the form of forceps or vacuum extraction. Your obstetrician will advise you accordingly.
Third stage of labour
The final stage of labour is the delivery of the placenta and can occur in 2 ways:
Vaginal delivery is usually the preferred form of birth as there are many benefits, these include:
Although vaginal delivery causes less risk, there are a few complications that may arise in some women.
Deep vein thrombosis: development of blood clots that occur in your legs or pelvis after delivery.
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