5 Different Types Of Birth & How To Choose The Right One For You

Types of birth

One of the most critical moments of your life will be your child’s birth. Many first-time mothers are unaware of the many available childbirth and delivery methods. 

It’s essential to choose what type of birth you want to have to prepare for the big day.

Choosing a type of birth can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t know what to expect. 

On this page, we will go over the types of birth methods you can consider. We’ll discuss what they are, as well as the pros and cons. 

Keep reading to discover which delivery method is the right choice for you.

Types Of Birth

There are multiple types of birthing options for women to choose from. Ultimately, the type of birth method you pick is a personal choice. 

However, it’s important to make an informed decision. That’s why you can benefit from knowing about all of the options available and their pros and cons.

1. Vaginal Delivery

The most common type of birth is the vaginal delivery. This is when the baby enters the world through the birth canal. It is a very straightforward process, but it may need medical assistance.

If there are no medical complications, it’s most common for a doctor to recommend a vaginal birth. One of the main advantages of vaginal birth is that contractions can stimulate the hormone responsible for the infant’s lung and brain development.

A vaginal birth is also recommended because the baby’s chest will get squeezed as it passes through the birth canal. This can help eliminate all of the amniotic fluid in its lungs.

Pros of Vaginal Delivery

  • Lowered risk of infection
  • Shorter hospital stays
  • Minimize the risk of needing surgery
  • Quicker recovery timeframe
  • Reduce the risk of respiratory problems in the infant

Cons of Vaginal Birth

  • Risk of perineum tearing
  • Very painful
  • The baby may arrive sooner or later than expected

2. Assisted Vaginal Delivery

In some situations, a woman may need assisted vaginal delivery. This is when she planned to give vaginal birth, but things aren’t going as planned. 

The doctor will suggest this method if no complications make a vaginal birth dangerous. 

A woman may require an assisted vaginal delivery if:

  • She has been in labor for a long time
  • There are no signs of labor progression
  • Persistent pushing is exhausting the mother

Two types of assisted vaginal delivery methods exist forceps delivery and vacuum extraction. Let’s take a closer look at what each of these options are.

Forceps Delivery

Forceps may be required to assist in vaginal birth if the baby doesn’t emerge from the birth canal. This is done if anything is causing the baby to get stuck in the birth canal or the mother is too exhausted to continue pushing.

The doctor will use a set of specially designed forceps (a surgical tool that resembles a tong) to grab and safely guide the baby through the birth canal.

Vacuum Extraction

Another one of the assisted delivery procedures that are used for vaginal birth is vacuum extraction. This can be done if the mother is still able to push.

The doctor will insert a vacuum pump into the birth canal. A suction cup on the end of the vacuum will be placed on the baby’s head. 

The suction of the vacuum and the mother’s pushing will help guide the baby through the birth canal.

Types of birth

3. Cesarean Delivery

The doctor will recommend a cesarean delivery if a woman cannot have a vaginal birth due to medical complications or other reasons. This is when a surgical incision is cut into the mother’s abdomen and uterus.

In certain situations, a woman may not have a vaginal delivery. 

A cesarean section is typically the best option if:

  • The baby is in breech (bottom end first)
  • The baby is transverse (in the sideways position)
  • It’s a huge baby
  • The mother is having multiple babies (twins, triplets, etc.)
  • There is an obstruction in the mother’s birth canal
  • The fetus is in distress
  • Problems with placenta
  • Mother has an infection that can spread to the baby (i.e., HIV or herpes)
  • An issue with the umbilical cord
  • The woman had previous surgery on the uterus

Additionally, a woman can plan to have a vaginal delivery but have to schedule an emergency cesarean birth. It may be recommended for the mother and baby’s health and safety in emergencies.

Pros of Cesarean Delivery

  • Allows parents to prepare for a specific date
  • Provides a safe birth alternative when a vaginal delivery isn’t an option

Cons of Cesarean Birth

  • Have to stay in hospital for three days after surgery
  • Longer recovery time (average of 8 weeks)
  • Painful recovery

4. Scheduled Induction

A vaginal birth doesn’t always go as planned. 

Sometimes, it may be past the mother’s due date, but the baby isn’t budging. If this happens, your doctor will likely recommend a scheduled induction.

What happens is a birth date for the baby will be scheduled. On that date, the mother will be given a medication called Pitocin through an IV. Pitocin will help start contractions and induce labor.

While this is an option at many birth centers, it can’t be used to induce an early birth unless there’s an emergency. Doctors will only schedule an induction if the woman is past 39 weeks pregnant.

Pros of Scheduled Induction

  • Planning allows parents to stay prepared
  • Safe procedure
  • Healthcare professionals closely monitor baby

Cons of Scheduled Induction

  • Chance of baby having health issues that need monitoring (if induction was scheduled due to late arrival)
  • It may go against the parents’ wishes to have a natural childbirth

Types of birth

5. Water Birth

A unique type of vaginal delivery method is water birth. This is when vaginal births are done in a portable tub. 

Water births are becoming popular among parents because they’re relaxing, and many women find them less painful.

With water births, the baby can be born underwater. However, if the parents aren’t comfortable with that idea, the mother can still have a water birth in a different position.

Parents can choose where the baby is born when they choose water births. 

Many birthing centers have the facilities for a safe water birth. However, parents can also arrange to bring a tub to their house for a home birth.

6. Natural Childbirth

Natural childbirth is another form of birth that’s becoming more common in recent years. This is when the mother gives birth without any medical procedures or therapies. 

As this option can be more painful, the doctor may suggest controlled breathing techniques, exercises, and positions for the delivery.

It’s also common for a natural childbirth-coached midwife to be present with the mother during delivery.

Choosing The Right Delivery Method For You

Choosing the right delivery method for you is a big decision. You will have to evaluate many things before you decide what’s right for you. 

Here are some of our tips on how to choose a delivery method.

1. Do Your Research

The more you know, the better. 

Childbirth is a huge deal, so you must have as much information as possible. Women face many obstacles and challenges throughout pregnancy and giving birth. 

When they are fully informed, they can make the best choice.

2. Know Your Options

Every mother’s preferences are different. It’s not just the delivery method you need to choose. But you also need to think about where you want to give birth.

Hospitals are a common choice because they are fully equipped for childbirth and any emergencies you could run into. 

People trust hospitals because medical technology allows them to accommodate all types of pregnancies. There are also many options for pain relief.

On the other hand, those who want a calming place to deliver their baby may choose a birth center. 

This is a place organized by licensed birthing professionals and midwives. They are equipped to accommodate most pregnancies but with less tech than a hospital.

The other option that couples have is home births.

This is a common choice among parents that want more freedom in the labor and delivery experience. It’s also a popular choice among parents interested in natural birth.

3. Attend Childbirth Classes

Couples can benefit from attending childbirth classes. These classes teach them a lot about the different childbirth methods. 

It’s also a great way to address any questions, concerns, or possible fears before the big day arrives.

Many new parents can also benefit from the social support of these groups. They can meet and bond with other expectant parents.

4. Speak To Other Mothers

If you want to know what something is like, speak to someone who’s done it before. 

New moms can benefit from talking to other mothers about their delivery experiences. 

Knowing more about what other women went through with different types of birth can help you better understand which method might be a better choice for you.

5. Speak To Your Healthcare Provider

Every expectant parent has preferences and concerns when it comes to birth. 

Your healthcare provider is one of the best people to speak to about this. They can help guide you on the best choices based on your health and medical history.

6. Create A Birth Plan

Once you establish what you want, it’s time to create a birth plan

A perfectly executed birth plan will inform medical professionals and others about your wants and needs during delivery. This includes your preferences for pain relief, medications used, and other treatments.

However, making your baby’s health and well-being the #1 priority is essential. This means that you should be willing to allow the medical team to change the birth plan if necessary.

Final Words

New parents have several different options for giving birth. The most common is vaginal deliveries. This can include a natural, assisted, or water birth. 

However, if there are any potential risks, a doctor may recommend that a mother gets a c-section.

Do you have any additional questions about choosing a birth type? Let us know in the comments below.

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