Pregnancy delivery options
There are many instances where a woman does not experience any labor pain even past their due date. Learn about the different pregnancy delivery options.
- Natural birth is usually without any complications.
- Induction is when labor is induced as the baby is overdue.
- C-section is done when natural birth is not possible.
- Forceps is used when labor is not progressing well.
There are many instances where a woman does not experience any labour pain even past their due date. During this time, doctors may consider inducing labor to start contractions. Assisted birth may be offered to women who are too exhausted to push the baby or where the baby is becoming distressed.
The different types of delivery options are given below.
Natural birth or normal delivery
It refers to vaginal delivery of the baby. This type of delivery is usually without any complications but the baby’s physical condition matters like in any other delivery. The doctor will know best if any unforeseen complications arise during labor and accordingly take medical interventions.
When normal vaginal delivery is not possible or is dangerous then doctors opt for a caesarean section. The operation requires small incisions to be made on the mother’s abdomen (vertically down from the navel and horizontal incision along the bikini line) and the baby’s removed from the mother’s uterus.
The reasons why a caesarean section is performed can be any of the following
- Baby’s head too big to pass through the mother’s vaginal opening.
- Incorrect fetus position.
- Fetal distress.
- Mother’s health issues (vaginal infections).
- Other labor problems.
As the name suggests labor is induced as the baby is overdue. Induction may be the method in cases of multiple-births, preeclampsia, slow labor, breaking of amniotic sac or water bag, gestational diabetes where baby has grown large and detached placenta. Labor is induced by breaking the water bag after which the contraction begin within twelve hours. Other ways of inducing labor is by applying gels to soften cervix and hormonal injections.
Forceps is a surgical metal instrument resembling two large spoons which is used to grip the baby’s head and gently pull him/her out to speed up delivery. Forceps is used when labor is not progressing well (mother is not effectively pushing or the baby’s head is not coming out completely) or the baby is in distress. This delivery is not as popular with doctors now as the technique of vacuum extraction is preferred. Bruising or swelling of the baby’s head is a risk in forceps delivery but disappears within a few weeks.
In this technique, a cut is made through the perineum and vaginal wall. This is done if the vaginal opening is not stretching properly for the baby’s head to emerge and there is a risk of tear in the skin. A ragged tear is more difficult to repair, hence a straight and small cut is made by the doctor to make the delivery easy. The area would be made numb if the doctor feels it to be necessary. After delivery, doctor stitches the cut and wound heals within few days.
Vacuum extraction (ventouse/suction)
A similar form of forceps but a gentler technique where a metal plate or rubber cone-shaped cup is attached to the baby’s head using suction that is attached to a small pump. This instrument then helps the doctor guide the baby gently through the birth canal while the mother pushes. Bruising and swelling may occur in the baby’s head which will disappear gradually.
Read more articles on Childbirth (Delivery)
Source: Onlymyhealth editorial team Apr 25, 2011
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