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If you are pregnant or preparing for pregnancy and want to know more about vaginal birth at Dominican Hospital, Dignity Health has a team of experts that can answer your questions. Our comfortable birth center uses the latest technologies, so that you and your baby can experience a safe, healthy delivery.
Every labor and birth is different. Your experience will depend on your baby’s position, the progress of your labor and birth, and choices you and your birthing team make during labor.
While you are in labor, a nurse will carefully monitor you and your baby. When your cervix, or entrance to your womb, is fully dilated, it’s time to push. Your Dominican birthing team will guide and support you, and check you and your baby immediately after birth to make sure you are both doing well. If needed, your midwife or doctor will repair any vaginal tears after delivery of the placenta.
You will likely feel sore and tired for a while after childbirth. Contractions will continue sporadically in the hours and days after birth. These contractions, called after-pains, feel like strong menstrual cramps and help your uterus return to its pre-pregnant shape. Over-the-counter medications, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, can help with those pains.
You may have some difficulty urinating or passing a bowel movement in the early days after birth. Squirting tepid water on your perineal area with a squeeze bottle may help.
Vaginal discharge will continue for weeks after birth. Over time, your flow will change from heavier bright red to light and pinkish-white. Let your care provider know if you develop a fever or if your vaginal discharge is foul-smelling or becomes heavy again.
See your doctor for a postpartum check-up approximately six weeks after birth, or sooner if your condition requires, so we can continue to care for your health and well-being.