Methods of Childbirth

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, there is an increased risk of uterine rupture for future vaginal deliveries. . THowever, depending on how your c-section was performed and how many you have had, you may have the option to try to have a vaginal birth after previous c-section (VBAC) for your next delivery if you so choose. This is important to discuss with your provider to make the best choice for your situation.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson, MD on August 16, 2019

Sources

SOURCE: American Pregnancy Association.

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