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An Expecting Mother’s Guide: Different Types Of Childbirth, Delivery Methods, And Their Benefits

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What is the safest way to give birth? What are the benefits of water delivery? Get all your questions answered about different types of childbirth and their benefits.

Written by Longjam Dineshwori |Updated : August 26, 2021 7:31 PM IST

Becoming a mom for the first time? Pregnancy could be exciting and scary at the same time. A woman's body goes through a lot of changes - physically as well as emotionally during pregnancy. The thought of labour pain and delivery can give any expecting moms goosebumps but understanding the process better can help ease the fear to some extend and feel more prepared for childbirth.

With this intention, Dr Madhavi Reddy, Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospitals, Bangalore, has explained the different types of childbirth, delivery methods, and their benefits.

Vaginal delivery

This is the most common and safest way to give birth. When a baby is born through the birth canal of the female body, the delivery is called vaginal delivery or natural delivery. It may or may not be relieved with pain relievers. In this case, the exact time of birth cannot be predicted, but most vaginal deliveries tend to occur after 38 to 40 weeks of pregnancy.

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Benefits of vaginal delivery:

Every woman's experience of vaginal birth will be different, but women who have opted this method generally:

  • Have shorter hospital stays
  • Have less need for strong pain relief after birth
  • Recover more quickly from labour and birth
  • Are less likely to have medical problems in future pregnancies
  • Are more physically able to do everyday tasks

Cesarean section (section C)

In this method, the baby is born by opening the mother's abdomen and surgically opening the uterus to remove the baby. This procedure is generally required in cases of multiple fetus, fetal distress, cephalopelvic disproportion, previous LSCS.

Benefits of cesarean section:

  • Reduces damage to the vagina
  • Controlled bladder
  • No major bleeding after delivery

Forceps delivery

Sometimes doctors must use forceps to push the baby's head out and help guide the baby through the birth canal. If the mother is exhausted and cannot push the baby, this is the preferred method of delivery.

Benefits:

  • It can deliver fast
  • It has a low incidence of fetal scalp injury

Vacuum suction

In this technique, the doctor uses suction to put a plastic cup on the baby's head and then gently pull it out of the birth canal.

Benefits of vacuum suction:

  • The baby showing signs of fetal distress (e.g., abnormal heart rate) can deliver on time.
  • Help women who are in the second stage of labor for several hours and cannot advance further.

Water delivery

Water delivery is a natural delivery technique. The mother spends the active stage of labour in the delivery pool or warm bath, which makes the delivery process more comfortable and less medical. Warm water helps to relax the mother, which helps to speed up the delivery rate and can relieve pain well without the need for anesthesia. In addition, the slow transition of the newborn from the amniotic fluid in the mother's womb to the water is smoother for the baby.

Benefits of childbirth in water

  • Women's pain is significantly reduced.
  • Warm water helps increase the flow of oxytocin and makes contractions more effective.
  • Women have more freedom of movement during childbirth and switch to a comfortable position and posture.

Vaginal delivery after caesarean section (VBAC)

Previously, if a woman had a caesarean section, all her subsequent deliveries would be performed only by caesarean section. Today, even if women have had a C-section through this delivery technique before, they can still have a successful vaginal delivery. VBAC is suitable for women who are pregnant with a baby, have a history of 1 lower segment uterine incision, and have no problems preventing VBAC.

Benefits of VBAC:

  • Reduce the risk of surgical complications
  • Reduce the risk of multiple caesarean sections, such as placenta previa or accumulation of placenta
  • Shorter hospital stays and recovery time.

What is home birth?

About 2% of women choose to give birth at home. For women with normal, low-risk pregnancies, this can be a safe and easy way to give birth naturally. Home birth is a drug-free vaginal delivery that uses a variety of physical and mental techniques and preparation methods to reduce labor pain and promote easy labor and delivery. Home birth is performed by a certified professional midwife, a midwife licensed, or a naturopathic midwife. Sometimes the professional support staff called Doula will help the family during the delivery. These delivery professionals also work in delivery centers.

Benefits of giving birth at home

Many women find staying in their home environment a relaxing and comfortable experience. Other benefits include:

  • No need to worry about being sent to the hospital during delivery or having the baby transported home after birth
  • Having a baby at home means having all the comforts of home, including snacks, and changing clothes available anytime.
  • The mother can invite whoever she wants to give birth.
  • Many women feel more at home giving birth if they need to scream or talk.

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