Pregnancy is undoubtedly one of the most anticipated moments. Getting pregnant comes with several questions. One question that all women thinking about pregnancy has to decide is the way of delivery. The female body has an astonishing endurance to go through natural childbirth or vaginal childbirth. However, doctors recommend C-section if there are any possible life-threatening medical conditions to the mother or the baby. While both types of delivery have their pros and cons, today, here you will get to know the possible side effects of natural childbirth or vaginal childbirth. Perineal skin damage due to vaginal childbirth Damage to the area near the vaginal opening or perineum during natural childbirth is common. Women who suffer such skin tears during natural childbirth require minor surgery sometimes to fix the area. This happens because the perineum is less stretchy than the tissue of the birth canal. Vaginal discharge or postpartum discharge One of the most common side effects of natural childbirth is vaginal discharge. Postpartum discharge, also known as Lochia occurs for 4 to 6 weeks on average after delivery. This occurrence is also known as the postpartum period. This vaginal discharge contains discharge and blood from the uterine wall which was attached with the placenta, blood from the cervix, etc. This discharge has a musty odor almost like that of normal menstrual blood. Vaginal discharge after childbirth continues until the internal areas heal. Point to be noted that vaginal discharge occurs irrespective of the type of delivery. Uncontrollable urinary bladder The body is put into a tremendous strain during vaginal childbirth which comes with labor. The pelvic muscles are the most affected during this phase, making them weak. The pelvic muscles are connected to the urinary bladder. Hence, weak pelvic muscles make it impossible for the mother to control the bladder. So, a mother after natural childbirth may experience leakage of urine when she laughs or sneezes. The baby suffers damage during natural childbirth. The newborn baby may suffer from some temporary physical damage when the mother pushes the baby out through the birth canal. This is most likely to happen when the baby has a large head than usual. The baby may suffer from a bruised scalp or fractured collarbone during vaginal childbirth. The delivery time is unpredictable. When you opt for natural childbirth, you have to go through its different stages that come with unbearable labor pain. Doctors monitor the cervix dilation of the mother and wait until the cervix dilates at least 10 cm. The dilation of the cervix when the mother goes into labor has no fixed timeline. Pain in the perineal area As mentioned earlier, going through vaginal childbirth puts a considerable amount of stress on the perineum. As a result, mothers may experience pain in the perineum after childbirth, which ultimately affects the physical relationship with her spouse. Some also experience irregular bowel movements and fear that the pressure due to constipation may further damage the already vulnerable perineum. The shape of the vagina will never be the same after natural childbirth The vaginal opening expands during vaginal childbirth to make way for the baby to come out. This makes the vaginal tissue loose, swollen and widens, changing the shape by a lot. Kegel exercises are recommended in such situations to make the vaginal tissue firm and make things easier. So these are some of the possible side effects of vaginal childbirth that you experience if you go through it. Pregnancy can be considered as a life-altering phenomenon. It is a transitional phase making us a responsible parent. While most of the side effects of vaginal childbirth are impossible to escape, it may be possible to minimize the risk of perineal tearing. It is said that perineal massage helps reduce the chances of damage in that particular area during childbirth. Taking Lamaze classes and practicing Kegel exercises also help make the entire journey of childbirth easier. Moreover, getting back to your physical relationship with your spouse after vaginal childbirth becomes a challenge, especially when you have pain in your perineal area. It is okay to wait for some time until you are ready for some action. Point to keep in mind, do remember to use contraceptives if you think of getting physical with your spouse. Consult your Gynaecologist for any discomfort that you face to avoid any further medical complications.