Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Pregnancy

Select An Article

Methods of Childbirth

    Font Size

    Vaginal delivery is the most common and safest type of childbirth. When necessary in certain circumstances, forceps (instruments resembling large spoons) may be used to cup your baby's head and help guide the baby through the birth canal. Vacuum delivery is another way to assist delivery and is similar to forceps delivery. In vacuum delivery, a plastic cup is applied to the baby's head by suction and the health care provider gently pulls the baby from the birth canal.

    Vaginal delivery may not always be possible. Caesarean delivery (C-section) may be necessary for the safety of you and your baby, especially if one of these complications is present:

    • Your baby is not in the head-down position.
    • Your baby is too large to pass through the pelvis.
    • Your baby is in distress.

    Most often, the need for a cesarean delivery is not determined until after labor begins. Once a woman has had a cesarean delivery, future deliveries are often also done by cesarean. That's because surgery done on the uterus increases the risk of it rupturing during a future vaginal delivery.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Kecia Gaither, MD, MPH on September 18, 2014
    Next Article:

    Pregnancy Week-By-Week Newsletter

    Delivered right to your inbox, get pictures and facts on
    what to expect each week of your pregnancy.

    Today on WebMD

    hand circling date on calendar
    Track your most fertile days.
    woman looking at ultrasound
    Week-by-week pregnancy guide.
    Pretty pregnant woman timing contaction pains
    The signs to watch out for.
    pregnant woman in hospital
    Are there ways to do it naturally?
    slideshow fetal development
    pregnancy first trimester warning signs
    What Causes Bipolar
    Woman trying on dress in store
    pregnant woman
    Close up on eyes of baby breastfeeding
    healthtool pregnancy calendar
    eddleman prepare your body pregnancy