Vaginal Birth

Definition - What does Vaginal Birth mean?

A vaginal delivery or vaginal birth is a type of childbirth where a baby is born through the birth canal. Vaginal delivery may be spontaneous, induced, or assisted.

Vaginal delivery may also be known as a "natural" delivery, although there is disagreement with the appropriateness of this term.

FertilitySmarts explains Vaginal Birth

It is typically recommended that pregnant women plan to have vaginal births unless there is an important reason indicating otherwise.

In preparing for birth, there are three stages of labor: early, active, and transition. In the final stage, the cervix must fully dilate to 10cm and contractions usually last between 60 – 90 seconds with 30 second to 2-minute rests in between. These contractions help in moving the baby through the birthing canal.

It some cases, the process can be assisted by vacuums or forceps, especially in instances where there may be a delayed delivery. There are also cases when an episiotomy may be required to make the birthing canal wider.

Some benefits of vaginal births include a shorter hospital stay and shorter recovery time when compared to other a cesarean section.

There are risks associated with vaginal births that include vaginal/perineal tearing, pelvic floor muscle weakening, and excessive bleeding. There are also occasions where the umbilical cord may get caught or wrapped around the baby. Some of these complications may require a cesarean section.

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