Normal Delivery / High Risk Pregnancy

Normal Delivery / High Risk Pregnancy


Normal Delivery

For a woman, giving birth is a life-changing event which leaves an intense impression till the end of life. Every birth is unique and it is a wonderful biological process.

Normal delivery is a natural process of giving birth to a new life without any form of medical intervention. During the normal delivery, the main focus is on which position the mother is comfortable to give birth. Nowadays medications are given to reduce the pain and to speed up the delivery process.

Know the stages of Normal Delivery

For a child to come out of the womb, the cervix needs to soften and stretch (cervix is a tubular structure that connects the uterus and vagina). This is the first stage of delivery. During the delivery, the cervix opens up to 10 centimeters so that the baby is able to pass through the canal.

Once the cervix is opened, the baby reaches the vagina, the skin, and muscles stretches. At this point, the mother may experience intense pain. First, the baby's head protrudes through the vagina and if required the doctor may make an incision between vagina and rectum to widen the vaginal opening so that the baby can come out smoothly.

After the birth, the placenta and the amniotic sac that protects the baby for nine months in the uterus need to come out. This can happen spontaneously or may take some time.

Benefits of Normal Delivery

  • Early mobilisation
  • Less hospital stay
  • Less hospital stay to protects babies from infection.
  • Fast recovery when compared to C-section
  • Babies have a lower risk of suffering from respiratory problems
  • Protects babies from infections
  • Baby gets sufficient oxygen

After a Normal delivery

  • Bleeding- After a delivery, for the first few days, a mother can expect heavy bleeding. Consult a doctor, if there is excess bleeding and fever.
  • Vaginal soreness- If the vagina tears during the delivery it may take around six weeks to heal. If the tear is severe it may take more time. Thus, one should be careful while sitting down during this healing period.
  • Contractions- Contractions may occur a few days after delivering the baby. It means the uterus and blood vessels are shrinking back into the size.
  • Pain while urinating or having a bowel movement- As the tissues around the bladder and urethra may swell; there can be pain while urinating. And one can also suffer from constipation for a few days.
  • Mood changes- After childbirth, due to hormonal changes, it is normal that a mother have frequent mood swings. She may feel irritated, frustrated or anxious.

How long it takes to recover after a normal delivery of child?

Every mother is different and thus they recover with different post-partum symptoms. However, the first six weeks of the post-partum is considered as the recovery period. If one had a vaginal tear, it normally takes six weeks to recover from vaginal soreness and it may extend depending upon a person's health condition.

Is age a factor in high-risk pregnancy?

Amidst medical advancements, people have perceived that it is quite easy and safe to deliver a child at a later phase of life. Modern lifestyles and trends of late marriages have also contributed to the trend of conceiving at an older age. But it is essential for all to know that with increasing age, risk factors in pregnancies increase and some of the risks involved cannot be kept at bay even with the most modern medical technologies.

Researches validate that age is a major factor in a high-risk pregnancy. Not only for older women but pregnancy in teenage can also be life-threatening. A pregnancy is considered to be at high risk when during the pregnancy period until post-delivery recovery time, the mother and the child stay vulnerable to various risk factors. Thus, vigorous monitoring and care are essential for a healthy pregnancy tenure and delivery.

Why is the advanced age of a mother a factor in high-risk pregnancies?

Usually, mothers below the age of 17 and above the age of 35 are at a greater risk of several complications during pregnancies than the rest. The risk of miscarriages and genetic disorders are also high in such mothers-to-be.

For Pregnant ladies below the age of 17:

A mother to be below the age of  17 is at high risk of developing miscarriage, Anaemia, pre-eclamsia, Abruption, preterm deliveries.

For mother to be above the age of 35:

Women who get pregnant for the first time after the age of 35 are at higher risks than younger women.
They can have a plethora of issues such as:

  • Loss of pregnancy or miscarriages
  • Ectopic pregnancy that can threaten the life of both the mother and the child.
  • Gestational hypertension and gestational diabetes
  • Surgical delivery is required in most of the cases.
  • Excessive bleeding during delivery that threatens the life of the mother
  • Prolonged labor pain
  • The child stays at high risk of having genetic disorders like Down syndrome.

What are the other risk factors?

There are several other risk factors related to a high-risk pregnancy.

  • Life style choices :  Drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes and using illicit drugs can put the pregnancy at a risk.
  • Surgical history: If the mother has a history of surgery on the uterus, like multiple C-secions, surgery for uterine fibroids or abdominal surgeries, the pregnancy can be at an increased risk.
  • Medical history – If the mother had been surffering from problems like heart disorders, diabetes, infections, asthma , and blood-clotting disorders, she might have a high-risk pregnancy.
  • Pregnancy complications – Complications can develop during pregnancy.  Fetal growth restriction, abnormal position of the placenta and Rh sensitization are some of the potentially serious conditions.
  • Multiple pregnancies- Multiple pregnancies can also put a pregnancy at increased risk.
Authored by Dr. Radhika Meka

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