Labor and delivery

What is a vaginal delivery?

Vaginal Delivery

Vaginal delivery, also known as vaginal birth, is the process in which a baby is born from the mother’s womb through the vagina. This is one of the most common ways for a child to be born, making up over 70% of total births in the US.

Safety and Benefits of Vaginal Delivery

Vaginal delivery is deemed a safer than most other forms of childbirth, such as c-section (cesarean section), and it is associated with numerous benefits, including:

  • Recovery time is shorter – the mother typically recovers faster from vaginal delivery than c-section.
  • Fewer complications – there are fewer potential complications associated with vaginal delivery.
  • Reduced risk of infection – The risk of an infection is far lower with vaginal delivery compared to c-section.
  • Potential lower medical costs – since there are fewer medical procedures used with vaginal delivery, the medical costs are typically lower.
  • Reduced risk of breastfeeding complications – with vaginal delivery, the natural skin-to-skin contact helps the mother successfully start breastfeeding.

Risks of Vaginal Delivery

Although there are many benefits associated with vaginal delivery, there are also some risks. These risks include:

  • Injury to the baby – during vaginal delivery, the baby may experience trauma or injury.
  • Injury to the mother – tear or damage to the pelvic floor muscles and tissues can occur.
  • Oxygen deprivation – if the baby experiences oxygen deprivation during delivery, it can lead to long term cognitive issues.
  • Infection – if the mother or baby contracts a bacterial infection during delivery, it can lead to serious health complications.


Vaginal delivery is a relatively safe way to give birth, with numerous benefits. However, care should be taken due to the potential risks involved with giving birth this way. It is always best to consult with a doctor to determine the safest and best option for both mother and baby.

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