Do you know the different ways of giving birth? If you need a bit of help, we’ve got you covered!
In this article:
- Know Your Options
- Birthing Methods Explained
- Creating Your Birth Plan
What You Should Know About the Giving Birth Methods
Know Your Options
Giving birth can be a daunting prospect for a woman, her partner, and the rest of the family. Labor and delivery usually only happen a few times in a lifetime, and not only is it a large medical event, but you’ll also leave with a new baby!
Most of the time, birth is given vaginally. The vaginal delivery method is the most common, and it is also the safest. There is also cesarean delivery, where the baby is taken directly from the mother’s womb.
Within both of these methods, there are sub-methods and particular aids that may be used to help extract the baby from the womb. You can even choose to give birth in different locations and have different professionals present to assist and guide you.
Below, we’ll take a look at all of these options to better help you choose a delivery method that’s right for you.
Birthing Methods Explained
1. Spontaneous Vaginal Delivery
Again, the safest and most common method is to have a vaginal delivery with your baby. Vaginal birth means the baby is pushed through the vagina naturally and not by surgical means. There are three stages of vaginal delivery:
Stage 1: Labor
Labor comes in three stages, but most women notice they are actually in labor when their water breaks or they start to feel uterine contractions. Your doctor and nursing staff will examine you periodically as labor progresses until you reach the 10cm mark. This means you are fully dilated and ready to deliver your baby.
Stage 2: Pushing and Baby Delivery
It’s time to push. You’ll be pushing your baby through the birth canal until he/she is completely out of your body. Sometimes, your doctor may use utensils like forceps to help the baby out when the mom is having a hard time pushing.
There is also a suction tool that does the same thing. These tools are usually only used if the baby needs help coming out.
Stage 3: Placenta Delivery
Lastly, you’ll need to deliver the baby’s placenta. During this time, you will have some contractions, but they will be less severe than before. The placenta will be looked over by your doctor to be sure everything looks as it is expected to.
The vaginal delivery method is also often labeled as spontaneous delivery and is recommended to be spontaneous because you can also plan to have a vaginal delivery. This is called labor induction, and it may be done for medical reasons or because labor still has not started two weeks after your due date.
There are several types of medications that can be used to help with the pain of contractions and labor. Demerol, the epidural anesthesia, and nitrous oxide (laughing gas) are often used.
What is an epidural? Epidural anesthesia is used to block pain on specific parts of the body. During childbirth, the anesthesia is injected into the spine to decrease the sensations of the lower half of the body.
2. Caesarean Delivery (C-Section)
In a caesarean section, caesarean delivery, or c-section, the birth of your baby will be surgical. The doctor will make incisions in the mother’s abdomen and uterus, and the baby will be removed this way.
Most women do not choose to have caesarean delivery or c-section, but you may choose it if you’d like to plan an early birth or if you know you have medical conditions that make a caesarean the safest delivery method.
When these conditions are present, it’s important you sit down with your doctor and schedule the caesarean. Like any other medical event, you’ll come into the hospital at the appropriate time and be put into surgery for the delivery of your baby.
One of the medical conditions that may make your doctor prompt a caesarean is heart disease. Age and weight can also be factors, as can carrying twins, triplets, or other multiples. Other last-minute pregnancy complications may arise as well — such as your baby being in the breech position.
When this happens, it’s not uncommon for your doctor to tell you it’s time to switch to caesarean delivery, and you won’t really have any other choice. Even though this can be discouraging to mothers who prefer to deliver vaginally, remember that a c-section is just another healthy way to deliver your baby.
3. Natural Childbirth
Lastly, some mothers choose to have a more natural birth — often at home, but sometimes in a hospital setting as well.
Even at home, a medical professional or another professional can be present to help the mother. Sometimes, this person is called a midwife or doula.
When these individuals are there, they provide the necessary tools and instruments for labor. They also provide coaching and calming things like music, soothing scents, massages, etc.
Some mothers who want a natural birth will opt for water births. Again, a water birth can be done at home or at some hospitals. The labor is spent in waist-deep, warm water. You can either stay in the tub for the duration of the labor and birth or just until the cervix is completely dilated.
Creating Your Birth Plan
It’s always a hope that the delivery will go exactly as planned, but this is rarely the case. Some small things here and there will inevitably arise and cause changes to what you originally thought would happen.
Still, it’s important to have a birth plan, and it’s best to start organizing it a few months before you know you’ll be delivering. You should sit down with your partner to list and arrange several things:
- Where you want to give birth and with who (doctor, medical professionals). Include their contact information.
- Atmospheric elements you prefer, including lighting, music or sounds in the birthing room, scents, etc.
- Birthing tools you prefer, such as a ball, chairs, birthing stool, a shower or bath, etc. Would you like to receive massages or breathing coaching?
- Do you have any plans concerning how you will manage pain? It’s best to make your decisions now, if possible.
There are five different types of childbirth and delivery methods you should know. Watch this video from Body and Beauty to learn about them:
Giving birth is a huge event in a woman’s life and will change your family forever. It is an amazing occurrence that can be wonderful and beautiful and uncomfortable at times.
The best you can do is plan for it well. Use the resources above to plan your own labor and delivery, and you’ll already be ahead of the game when the big day comes.
How do you want to give birth? Share us your thoughts in the comments section below!