Vaginal delivery is the most common type of childbirth and the safest option for giving birth. It involves the baby being born through the mother’s vagina.
When it comes to childbirth, there are a few different options that are available to women. Some couples choose to have a c-section, while others opt for a vaginal delivery. While both options have their risks and benefits, vaginal delivery is often considered the safest option for giving birth.
In this blog post, we will discuss the reasons why vaginal delivery is usually the best choice for most women. We will also take a look at some of the risks associated with c-sections and vaginal deliveries.
What is a vaginal delivery?
Vaginal delivery is the most common type of childbirth. It involves the baby being born through the mother’s vagina. This can be done with or without pain medication.
Why is vaginal delivery done?
All babies enter the world through either a vaginal birth or a surgical delivery, called cesarean section. Both methods share the same ultimate goal of a healthy baby and mother. And both methods come with benefits and risks.
There are many reasons why vaginal delivery is chosen over other types of childbirth, such as cesarean delivery.
Some of these reasons include:
- It is less invasive than a cesarean delivery.
- It has a shorter recovery time.
- It is less expensive than a cesarean delivery.
- It carries a lower risk of complications for both the mother and the baby.
Types of vaginal delivery
There are three main types of vaginal delivery:
- Spontaneous vaginal delivery (also called unplanned or natural childbirth): Spontaneous vaginal delivery is the most common type of vaginal delivery. In this type of delivery, the baby is born without the help of any medical interventions.
- Assisted vaginal delivery, also called instrumental vaginal delivery or operative vaginal delivery: It is a type of vaginal birth that involves the use of medical interventions to help the baby be born. This can include the use of forceps or a vacuum extractor.
- Induced vaginal delivery: This type of vaginal birth is done when there are medical reasons to induce labor. This can be done for the health of the mother or the baby.
Why is it the safest option for childbirth?
There are many benefits to having a vaginal delivery. These include a shorter hospital stay, lower risk of infection, and faster recovery time.
Additionally, vaginal deliveries help to avoid some of the complications that can occur with cesarean delivery, such as blood loss and infection. Vaginal deliveries are so safe that the majority of women who give birth do so vaginally.
What are the risks of vaginal delivery?
While vaginal delivery is generally safe, there are some risks involved. These include:
- Tearing of the vagina
- Perineal trauma
- Prolapse of the uterus
- Obstructed labor
How can I prepare for a vaginal delivery?
If you are planning on having a vaginal delivery, there are some things you can do to prepare.
Some of these include:
- Attending childbirth classes
- Doing perineal massage
- Exercises to prepare for childbirth
- Packing a hospital bag
- Making a birth plan
What to expect during the labor process?
The labor process can vary from woman to woman. It is different for everyone. Some women may have shorter labor, while others may have a longer one.
It is important to be prepared for the labor process and to know what to expect. Your healthcare provider will be able to help you with this.
In a normal vaginal delivery, a woman goes through 4 stages of labor.
When you’re in labor, your spouse or any other supporter may come in to help you. In the delivery room, the perineum is washed and draped.
In delivering the fetus, a vaginal examination is done to ascertain the position and station of the fetal head. The head is usually the presenting part of the fetus and rarely the buttock.
If effacement is completed and the cervix is fully dilated, then the mother is asked to bear down and strain with each uterine contraction. This helps to move the head through the pelvis and progressively dilate the cervix.
If you decide to have a “natural” childbirth (delivery without pain medication), you’ll feel all types of sensations. The two sensations you’ll experience the most are pain and pressure. When you begin to push, some of the pressure will be relieved.
As the baby descends into the birth canal, though, you’ll go from experiencing pressure only during the contractions to experiencing constant and increasing pressure. It will feel something like a strong urge to have a bowel movement as the baby presses down on those same nerves. If you choose to have an epidural, you’ll have little to no sensation in your lower half.
Pushing may last anywhere from a few minutes to a couple of hours. The average is about an hour.
You’ll feel a burning or stinging sensation as the baby’s head begins to crown (crowning). This is called the ring of fire. It only lasts for a few seconds as the baby’s head stretches the vaginal opening. Episiotomy can be done at this point, but it is not always necessary.
Once the head is born, suction is applied to the mouth and nose, and the head is turned to one side so that the baby can begin to breathe. The body is born shortly after, and the umbilical cord is clamped and cut.
After the baby is born, you’ll deliver the placenta. The placenta is the organ that nourished your baby during pregnancy. You may feel some tugging and pulling as the placenta is delivered. This is normal and should not be painful.
After the delivery, you’ll be given a chance to hold your baby and bond. You may also have skin-to-skin contact, which is when the baby is placed on your chest, and you’re both covered with a blanket.
After delivery, you may remain there or be transferred to a postpartum unit or section. In managing normal vaginal delivery, the doctor or midwife must be well acquainted with the steps in conducting vaginal delivery.
Post-birth recovery tips for new mothers
After you have a baby, your body is going through a lot of changes. You are also trying to adjust to life with a new baby. Here are some things that you can do to help your recovery:
- Get plenty of rest. This may be hard to do with a new baby, but it is important. Try to sleep when your baby sleeps.
- Eat healthy foods and drink plenty of fluids. This will help your body heal and give you the energy that you need.
- Do not smoke. Smoking slows down the healing process.
- Avoid lifting heavy objects.
- Wear comfortable clothing. This will help you feel better and be more comfortable.
- Do not have sex until your doctor or midwife says it is okay.
- Take a stool softener if you are constipated. This will help you avoid straining.
If you have stitches, they will dissolve on their own. You do not need to remove them. You may have some bleeding and discharge for four to six weeks after you have your baby. This is normal.
Call your doctor or midwife if you have any concerns. Now that you know what to expect, you can focus on enjoying this special time with your new baby.
Contraindications for vaginal delivery
While vaginal delivery is the safest option for childbirth, there are some contraindications to be aware of. If you have any of the following issues, you may be advised to have a cesarean delivery instead:
- You have a serious infection in your uterus
- Your baby is very large and would not fit through the birth canal
- You have a low-lying placenta (placenta previa)
- You have a uterine rupture
- You have had a previous cesarean delivery
- You have an unexplained bleeding disorder
- You are carrying twins or higher multiples, and one is in a breech, transverse, or other abnormal position.
- You have a serious medical condition that could complicate labor, such as uncontrolled diabetes or heart disease.
- Your baby has a condition that makes vaginal delivery risky, such as a serious heart defect or infection.
- You have had previous vaginal deliveries that resulted in significant tears (third- or fourth-degree perineal lacerations)
- You are expecting conjoined twins.
- You have active herpes simplex virus in or around your vagina
- Your water has broken, and you are infected with Group B strep
- You are HIV-positive
As you can see, there are many factors to consider when deciding whether or not vaginal delivery is right for you.
How long does it take to heal after giving birth?
The time it takes for your vagina to recover is determined by several factors. Healing normally takes between 2 to 3 months to heal from the tear and about 6 weeks after having a tear in the perineal cavity.
In conclusion, vaginal delivery is the safest option for childbirth. It has many benefits and is less invasive than a c-section. If you are planning on having a baby, talk to your healthcare provider about the best way to prepare for labor and delivery. Thanks for reading!