Normal Delivery: Stages, Symptoms, Risk and Treatment

Sonali Kapoor

, Health A2Z

Every delivery is as unique for each mother and the newborn. As women may have completely different experiences with each new labor and delivery. As we all know every woman is prefer for normal delivery because it’s less risk and quick recovery. Normal vaginal birth is the childbirth process which takes place without any form of medical involvement. Nowadays mother’s alleviate the pain and speed up the delivery process.


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What is Normal Delivery?


Normal delivery is completely natural delivery of a baby by the mother without any medication involvement. During a normal vaginal delivery, the primary focus is on how and in which position will the mother be more comfortable delivering the baby. The mother can lead to the whole process of labor and delivery. The doctor and the nurses, aid her while being alert for any kind of emergencies.



What are the Stages of Normal Delivery?


There are mainly 3 stages of normal delivery:


1. Labour and effacement of the cervix


2. Pushing & birth of the baby


3. Delivering the placenta


1. Labour and Effacement of the Cervix


This is the first stage of the normal delivery process and labor. For the baby to be born, the cervix needs to become manageable, soften and stretch so that the baby can be delivered. This stage can last for up to 13 hours for a woman who is delivering a baby for the first time, and for seven to eight hours for a second or third child. Contractions occur which helps to dilate the cervix.


2. Early labor


The cervix of the pregnant mother opens to about 3 – 4 centimeters. In this stage, the pregnant mother can continue to perform her usual activities like – relaxing, drink plenty of water, eat light meals whilst keeping keep track of the contractions. With time the contractions grow stronger and when the pregnant mother gets more frequent and stronger contractions and is not able to talk during contractions.


3. Active Labor


In this stage, the cervix of the pregnant mother opens about 4 – 7 centimeters. The contractions start every 3 to 4 minutes and each of them lasts for about 60 seconds. These contractions show the cervix is opening faster. As the labor continued, the water may break causing a gush of fluid. Once the water breaks, the contractions speed up. The pregnant mother at this stage needs to relax.


Ease in between the contractions is very important as it will help the cervix to widen. The pregnant mother can also soak herself in a tub which will ease the discomfort.


4. Transitioning to the Second Stage


In this stage, the cervix opens about 7 – 10 cms. This stage is the most painful and stressful part of the labor for most women as the cervix widens up to its fullest. The contractions occur every 2- 3 minutes and last for up to 60 to 90 seconds. The mother at this stage feels a strong urge to push because it feels the pressure in the rectal area and stinging in the vaginal area, as the baby’s head slowly moves down toward the vaginal opening.


The pregnant mother may feel fatigued, irritated, nauseous and alternately hot or cold. Slow and relaxed breathing is very effective during this time.


What are the Symptoms of Normal Delivery?


The symptoms are divided into three categories:


Pre-labor Symptoms :


1. Urge to urinate frequently as the baby’s head presses against the urinary bladder


2. Lack of coordination in movements as the baby descends lower into the pelvic region


3. Cramping and pain in the lower back as the joints and muscles stretch and become active for the nearing labor


Early labor Symptoms :


1. Vaginal discharge increases and becomes thicker in consistency


2. Cramping and pain in the lower back that radiates to abdomen and legs


3. Parts of mucus plug get eliminated every time you urinate; look for pinkish and thick mucus as this is an important sign of nearing labor.


Active Labor Symptoms :


1. Warm sensation in the abdomen


2. Vaginal bleeding


3. Intensifying back pain


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What are the Risks of Normal Delivery?


Risk factors before the normal delivery


1. Rupture of the uterus


2.Fetal distress


3. Vaginal tear


4. Tears in the perineum


5. Umbilical cord prolapse which occurs when the cord comes out before the baby


6. If the mother suffers from any infections, it may be passed on from the mother to the child


Risk  factors after the normal delivery


1. Damage to the pelvic floor due to which the woman may suffer from temporary or chronic pelvic pain


2. Pelvic organ prolapse which occurs when the bladder, uterus and/or rectum protruding into the vagina or outside the vaginal opening.


3. Retained placenta


4. Urinary leakage with sudden coughing, sneezing, or laughing post delivery


5. Postpartum hemorrhage


6. Anesthesia (if used) related complications


What are the Benefits of Normal Delivery?


There are some benefits to normal delivery:


1.  Short hospital stays


2.  Low infection rates


3.  Quick recovery


4.  Babies have a lower risk of suffering from respiratory problems


5.  No post-surgical hemorrhaging


What is the Post Period Treatment of Normal Delivery?


1. Vaginal Soreness:


If you have a vaginal tear during delivery the wound may hurt for up to five-six weeks, though if the tearing was severe it could take more time than that to heal. While sitting down it can be painful so you can use a pillow it helps you to sit down with any pressure on the perineum.


2. Vaginal Discharge and Bleeding:


When bleeding, expect a heavy bright red flow for the first few days after the delivery it happens during the monthly periods. Then slowly it becoming pink or brown or yellow or white. You have to call your doctor if you have a fever or are bleeding too much and changing the sanitary pads every hour or you are passing big blood clots.


3. Hair Loss:


The hormones during pregnancy keep you from losing your hair. After birth the hormones return to normal levels it causes the hair to fall out and return to the normal hair fall and growth cycle.


4. Mood Changes:


After childbirth, it is normal for the new mother to undergo frequent mood changes like- irritation, frustration, anxiety etc.




Childbirth is a blessing for the mother whether it is normal delivery or caesarian, every woman wants this kind of feeling experience in their life. Giving birth is a life-changing moment which will leave an impression on you for the rest of your life. So if you feel any of the above symptoms so consult your gynecologist as soon as possible she will help you out.


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