Full Birth (Delivery) Description
[Continued from above] . . . is thought to elicit a reflex that will stimulate still stronger labor contractions until a maximum effort is achieved. At the same time, the cervix dilates and, as labor continues, abdominal wall muscles are stimulated to contract and aid in forcing the fetus through the cervix and vagina to the outside.
During normal birth, the head appears first, the shoulders turn, and more contractions push the baby out. The baby's mouth and nasal passages are cleared of mucus, the baby breathes, cries, and is given to the mother. When the umbilical cord ceases to pulsate, it is clamped and cut.
Following the birth of the fetus, the placenta, which remains inside the uterus, becomes separated from the uterine wall and is expelled by uterine contractions through the birth canal. This expulsion is called the afterbirth.