Labor and Delivery, Vaginal Birth

In a vaginal birth, the baby will come out through the birth canal. Most women give birth at around 38-41 weeks of pregnancy. However, there is no way to know exactly when you will go into labor.

  • Call Your Doctor

    After you leave the hospital, contact your doctor if any of the following occur:

    • Signs of infection, including fever and chills
    • Increased bleeding: soaking more than one sanitary pad an hour
    • Wounds that become red, swollen, or drain pus
    • Vaginal discharge that smells foul
    • New pain, swelling, or tenderness in your legs
    • Pain that you cannot control with the medicines you have been given
    • Pain, burning, urgency or frequency of urination, or persistent blood in the urine
    • Cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain
    • Depression, suicidal thoughts, or feelings of harming your baby
    • Breasts that are hot, red, and accompanied by fever
    • Any cracking or bleeding from the nipple or areola (the dark-colored area of the breast)

    In case of an emergency, call for medical help right away.

  • Definition

    In a vaginal birth, the baby will come out through the birth canal. Most women give birth at around 38-41 weeks of pregnancy.
    However, there is no way to know exactly when you will go into labor.

  • What to Expect

  • Reasons for Procedure

    Labor is the process that positions the baby for birth, delivers the baby out of the birth canal, and passes the placenta after birth.

  • Possible Complications

    Your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:

    • Bleeding
    • Uterine infection
    • Tear of tissue around the vagina

    • Complications requiring forceps, vacuum extraction, or
      cesarean delivery
      (C-section)
    • Blood clots
    • Injury to the baby

    Some factors that may increase the risk of complications include:

    • Anemia
    • Diabetes
    • Bleeding disorder
    • Lung or heart disease

    • Infectious disease (eg, active
      genital herpes
      infection,
      HIV
      )
    • Water breaking before your contractions start
    • Placenta previa
      (placenta positioned over the canal opening)
    • Abruptio placenta
      (early separation of the placenta from the wall of the womb)
    • Umbilical cord prolapse
      (umbilical cord slips out of the birth canal before the baby's head)
    • Large baby or a baby in the wrong position inside the womb

    Be sure to discuss these risks with your doctor before giving birth.