With the advances in medical technology made over the last century, childbirth has become much safer for both mothers and babies. This has also led to the rise in the number of different kinds of childbirth and delivery methods that are designed to ensure the highest chances of a successful birth.
If you are trying to decide what type of birth to go for, it is a good idea to talk to your doctor about all the different types and let them clarify what your options are. Keep in mind that even the most carefully planned births may not always go according to plan, so be prepared for alternative methods, too.
This is also known as a vaginal birth. The baby is born through the birth canal after a period of labor when the pregnancy is full term at around 38 to 41 weeks.
Doctors recommend that pregnant women plan for natural births unless there is a medical reason for them to have a C-section. Giving birth naturally has several benefits, including quicker recovery times for moms and lower infection rates. Babies that are born this way are also at a lower risk of developing respiratory problems.
Natural birth can occur with or without an epidural. The advantage of using an epidural is that it significantly reduces childbirth pain. You’ll still feel the contractions a little bit, and you will still be fully aware of what’s happening, but the process will be potentially painless.
A cesarean section, or a C-section, is delivery that is done through a surgical incision made in the mother’s abdomen and uterus.
A scheduled C-section is a c-section operation that is planned for and scheduled in advance by you and your doctor based on your health condition and your baby’s health condition.
If you give birth through this method, you’ll get a local anesthesia to numb you from the waist down before the operation is done. A catheter will also be put in place to keep your bladder empty. The operation usually lasts between 30 to 45 minutes.
Sometimes, a c-section operation may be required due to an unforeseen complication. This is called an unplanned c-section. There are several situations that may lead to an unplanned c-section, including multiple births, a very large baby, baby in breech or transverse, certain uterine conditions, fibroids or other large obstructions, and placenta previa.
Vaginal Birth after C-section (VBAC)
Not too long ago, having a c-section delivery meant that you would never have a vaginal delivery. However, surgical techniques have improved tremendously over the years, and it is now possible to have a vaginal birth after c-section, also known as VBAC.
If you had a c-section delivery and you get pregnant again, you may have the option of choosing between a scheduled c-section and VBAC. More and more women are now opting for VBAC for their second pregnancies.
VBAC is possible for most women. However, some pregnancy complications or underlying medical conditions can prevent its possibility, requiring an unplanned C-section instead. Because many local hospitals do not have the resources to handle unplanned c-sections, this is one of the main reasons why they do not offer VBAC.