During a vaginal birth, uterine contractions help to push the baby out from the uterus through the birth canal (the passageway through the cervix, vagina, and vulva). Each woman’s vaginal labor experience is different, and the total time of labor can vary significantly, although the average duration is about 12-14 hours for first-time mothers (subsequent pregnancies often have shorter labor periods).
Vaginal births typically take place at around 38-41 weeks, and involve three general stages of labor:
Dilation and Effacement of the Cervix
- Early (Latent) Phase: longest and least intense phase, during which time contractions are relatively mild but become increasingly frequent, and the cervix thins out (effaces) and dilates 3-4 cm.
- Active Phase: cervix dilates from 4 to 7 centimeters and contractions become more intense and frequent (averaging 3-5 minutes apart). Epidural injections are administered during this phase for patients who select this form of pain management.
- Transition Phase: cervix dilates to 8-10 centimeters, with contractions becoming very strong, and occurring every 1-3 minutes.
Pushing and Birth: begins when the cervix is completely dilated (10 cm), at which time your practitioner will encourage you to start pushing in order to propel the baby through the birth canal. When the baby’s head comes out of the birth canal, the doctor will suction blood, mucus and amniotic fluid from the child’s nose and mouth. Once the baby’s entire body has emerged, the umbilical cord will be cut.
Delivery of the Placenta: during the final stage of labor, the placenta (‘afterbirth’) is delivered, which may be accompanied by cramping, pain and fatigue.
Vaginal birth deliveries offer a number of benefits, including: lower infection rates, quicker recovery, shorter hospital stays, and decreased risk of babies born with respiratory problems. Additionally, in a 2013 publication of labor and delivery guidelines, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommended that pregnant women should plan for vaginal birth barring circumstances that would render a cesarean delivery medically necessary.
At OBGYN on the Park, with convenient office locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn, NY, our well-respected team of board certified Obstetricians/Gynecologists specialize in successful vaginal birth and VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) deliveries, as evidenced by our exceptionally high vaginal delivery rate of 94%, which is well above the national average of 67%. As a OBGYN on the Park patient, you will receive a customized birth plan that takes into consideration your personal preferences and medical history, while prioritizing the health of both mother and child. Your obstetrician will take the time to ensure that you have a thorough understanding about all of your vaginal delivery birthing options, and that you are 100% comfortable with every facet of your labor and delivery plan. We are affiliated with the prestigious Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York, where our patients have access to the best possible amenities throughout their labor and delivery experiences.
Contact OBGYN on the Park
At OBGYN on the Park, we take pride in providing a superior level of patient care and clinical expertise in a compassionate and comfortable environment. Our exceptional staff members are experts in the field of Obstetrics/Gynecology and all our physician are faculty members at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. As a patient at OBGYN on the Park, you will experience an unparalleled level of attentiveness and responsiveness—we will always make time to thoroughly address every question and concern you might have, and will work tirelessly to ensure that your experience is a positive one.
Our multidisciplinary approach involves cooperative collaboration with your primary care physician and a network of highly esteemed specialists (when necessary) in order to create a customized treatment plan that meets your unique obstetric/gynecological concerns. We look forward to speaking with you, and to scheduling your initial appointment with one of our board certified physicians.
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists “Vaginal Delivery Recommended Over Maternal Request Cesarean.” http://www.acog.org/About_ACOG/News_Room/News_Releases/2013/Vaginal_Delivery_Recommended_Over_Maternal-Request_Cesarean
 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “Births—Methods of Delivery.” http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/delivery.htm