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Labor & Delivery


Labor & Delivery

There are two main types of delivery: vaginal and cesarean section (C-section). During vaginal birth, your baby will pass naturally through the birth canal. A C-section is a surgical procedure where your provider makes an incision (cut) in your abdomen and delivers the baby in an operating room. Vaginal delivery is the most common type of birth. However, sometimes you might need a C-section for a variety of reasons, including:

  • If your baby is not in the head-down position.

  • If your baby is too large to naturally pass through your pelvis.

  • If your baby is in distress.

  • If the placenta blocks your cervix (a condition called placenta previa).

  • If you have health issues or complications that make a C-section the safest option.

  • If there’s an emergency situation that requires your baby to be delivered quickly.

In many cases, a cesarean delivery is not determined until after labor begins.

Vaginal Birth After Cesarean
( VBAC )

VBAC refers to vaginal delivery of a baby after a previous pregnancy was delivered by cesarean delivery.

In the past, pregnant women who had one cesarean delivery would automatically have another. But research shows that, for many women who had prior cesarean deliveries, attempting to give birth vaginally—called a trial of labor after cesarean delivery (TOLAC) —and VBAC might be safe options in certain situations.

Compared with having another C-section, a vaginal delivery involves no surgery, none of the possible complications of surgery, a shorter hospital stay and a quicker return to normal daily activities. VBAC might also be appealing if you want to experience vaginal childbirth.

It's important to consider future pregnancies, too. If you're planning for more pregnancies, VBAC might help you avoid the risks of multiple cesarean deliveries, such as placental problems.

Normal Vaginal Delivery (NVD)

A vaginal delivery is when a person gives birth through their vagina. It's the most common method of childbirth. During a vaginal birth, your uterus contracts to thin and open your cervix and push your baby out through your vagina (or birth canal).

Healthcare providers prefer vaginal deliveries because they're usually safest for the fetus and the birthing person. A vaginal delivery occurs most often between weeks 37 and 42 of pregnancy.

There are different types of vaginal deliveries: spontaneous, induced and assisted.

Spontaneous vaginal delivery: A vaginal delivery that happens on its own and without labor-inducing drugs.
Induced vaginal delivery: Drugs or other techniques initiate labor and prepare your cervix. This is also called labor induction.
Assisted vaginal delivery: A vaginal birth that occurs with the help of forceps or a vacuum device to get your baby out. Both spontaneous and induced vaginal delivery can be assisted.

Caesarean Section
( C-Section )

Cesarean section, C-section, or Cesarean birth is the surgical delivery of a baby through a cut (incision) made in the mother's abdomen and uterus. Health care providers use it when they believe it is safer for the mother, the baby, or both.

The incision made in the skin may be: Up-and-down (vertical) or across from side-to-side (horizontal).
The type of incision used depends on the health of the mother and the fetus. The incision in the uterus may also be either vertical or horizontal.

C-Section is suggested in following cases:

  • If you can't deliver vaginally, C-section allows the fetus to be delivered surgically. You may be able to plan and schedule your Cesarean. Or, you may have it done because of problems during labor.

  • Several conditions make a Cesarean delivery more likely. These include:

  • Abnormal fetal heart rate. 

  • Abnormal position of the fetus during birth. 

  • Problems with labor. Labor that fails to progress or does not progress the way it should.

  • Size of the fetus. The baby is too large for your provider to deliver vaginally.

  • Placenta problems.

  • Certain conditions in the mother, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or HIV infection

  • Active herpes sores in the mother’s vagina or cervix

  • Twins or other multiples

  • Previous C-section

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