Normal Vaginal Delivery

The first stage of the normal delivery process involves contractions which help the cervix dilate, soften and stretch so that the baby can be delivered. This stage is the longest and can last up to 13 hours during a woman’s first delivery and about 7-8 hours for subsequent deliveries.

This stage begins after the complete dilation of the cervix. Intense contractions continue, helping push the baby head first through the birth canal. The mother is asked to push with every contraction and may find herself highly fatigued. She may also experience intense pain around the vaginal opening as the baby makes its way out. At this stage, the doctor may decide to make an incision (episiotomy) to widen the vaginal opening to make the baby’s emergence easier. The mother must continue to push till the baby finally makes it out into the world.