Childbirth , also known as labour and delivery , is the ending of pregnancy where one or more babies leaves a woman's uterus by passing through the vagina or by Caesarean section. The most common way of childbirth is a vaginal delivery. Each year, complications from pregnancy and childbirth result in about , maternal deaths , seven million women have serious long term problems, and 50 million women have negative health outcomes following delivery. The most prominent sign of labour is strong repetitive uterine contractions. The distress levels reported by labouring women vary widely.
What Happens to Your Vagina After You Give Birth: 8 Things New Moms Should Know
Vaginal Birth: Vaginal Delivery Basics, Childbirth Stages & More
Naturally, after a woman has given birth, her vagina changes. It may feel enlarged or wider. It may also feel sore and even dry. It is therefore not surprising when you hear women, especially new mothers, asking their doctors questions like:. Of course, these are valid concerns because most women after delivery do want to get back to their normal routine including having sex with their partners.
The shape of the pelvis, hormones, powerful muscles and more all work together to help you bring your baby into the world - before, during and after childbirth. The hormone oxytocin causes contractions during labour, as well as contractions that deliver the placenta after the baby is born. In the weeks or days before you start having proper contractions, you may experience Braxton Hicks contractions.
A few things to think through in advance of your vaginal birth:. For women who deliver vaginally, childbirth progresses in three stages :. All women who deliver vaginally will experience all three phases of labor, though you may not notice the first phase at all. You may wonder: Does pushing hurt more than contractions?