A normal or vaginal delivery can be divided into different phases.
The early phase of labor begins with the rupture of the amniotic sac. This is often known as "water breaking." The amniotic sac usually remains intact until the delivery time. The gush of fluid that comes out after the water breaks should be colorless and odorless. If the color becomes green yellow , or brown, then doctor consultation is a must.
The uterus starts contracting and relaxing which pushes the baby out through the cervix. It can feel like heavy cramping at times. Contractions are not essentially a primary indicator of labor pain. But in case the contractions last for an hour or so, you need to understand that your labor has begun.
During the labor, the cervix facilitates in delivering the baby. The cervix is the lowest part of the uterus that opens into the vagina. It dilates and opens enough to allow the baby to pass out. The cervical canal opens up to 10 cms to let the baby pass into the birth canal. Once the baby enters the vagina, the muscles and the skin get stretched. The labia and the perineum also opens to the maximum point. If the mother experiences terrible burning sensation, the doctor may decide to intently perform an incision of the vaginal opening to fasten the delivery and to relieve the mother of the pain. This process is known as episiotomy.
By this time, the head of the baby should come out. Although the pain and pressure subsides by now, the discomfort will still remain. The doctor and nurse will ask you to push the baby gently till the baby emerges into the world.
The final stage involves delivering the placenta. This might take a few minutes to half an hour. Your healthcare provider will inspect the placenta to make sure if it was delivered completely or not.