Childbirth is the culmination of the period of pregnancy when one or more newborn infants are expelled from a women’s uterus. This usually happens between the 37 -42 weeks of pregnancy. Depending on the type of assistance provided childbirth can be classified as
- Normal Childbirth (with or without medical interventions)
- Caesarian Section or C-Section
Normal Child Birth
In a normal child birth baby is born head first through the vagina or birth canal. It may or may not include medical intervention. The one in which labor progresses without medical assistance is called Natural Childbirth.
Medical Interventions that are part of Normal Delivery
During labor, the mother or baby may require medical interventions in order to ensure safe delivery. Some of them are
Augmentation: In case of prolonged labor, when baby fails to come down the birth canal, medication such as oxytocin can be given to stimulate contractions and aid child birth
Monitor Heart Beat: During labor, special tool called Doppler is used to monitor the baby’s heart beat after a contraction. Contractions happen at a time interval of 15-30 minutes initially and at an interval of 5minutes during the final stages of labor.
Artificial rupture of membranes or “breaking the water” by the health care provider.
Pain Relief medication: Some women might require medication to relieve the pain because of prolonged labor, baby’s position etc.
After delivery, you may receive an injection of oxytocin that helps the uterus to shrink and prevent blood loss.
Process of Normal Childbirth
The process of normal childbirth can be divided into 3 stages
Stage1: This stage can be further subdivided into 3 phases-latent, active and transition. Of these the latent phase is the longest. Contractions are more frequent in this phase and cervix (neck of the womb) begins to dilate approx 3-4 centimeters. Pain is minimal during this stage. In the active phase cervix dilates approximately 4-7 centimeters and with each contraction you may feel intense pressure in the back or abdomen. You may also feel an urge to push but your doctor would advise you to wait until the cervix is fully dilated. In the transition phase the cervix fully dilates to 10 centimeters and pain becomes intense and frequent.
Stage 2: In this stage cervix opens up completely. You push the baby through the birth canal. Once the baby is delivered your doctor would clamp the umbilical cord.
Stage 3: In the final stage of labor, you deliver the placenta which had provided nutrition to the baby in the womb.
Benefits of Normal Birth
- There are fewer complications for you and the baby since there are no surgeries involved.
- Less susceptible to injury and infections.
- Faster recovery which leads to shorter stay at the hospitals.
- Women feel more confident and positive about the birth.
Preparation for Normal Childbirth
These are a few tips which would help you to prepare for a normal delivery.
- Read information from reliable sources or discuss with your doctor
- Prenatal classes are conducted which prepare you for a normal delivery
- Eat well and exercise daily.