At Parkland Health Center we hope to give you the birthing experience you want. Mothers today are offered a variety of birth types to choose from. Learn about some of the most common types of births you can incorporate into your birth plan. Discuss with your provider to see what the best option for you might be.
While a vaginal birth experience can be different for everyone there are a few things you can expect during your childbirth. They are three stages of a vaginal birth:
- Labor – this is when you start to experience contractions. While in labor, you may experience periodic physical exams to see how far along you are. As you get closer to giving birth, your contractions get stronger, happen closer together, and last longer.
- Pushing and delivery – when you’re fully dilated, you’re ready to start pushing your baby through the birth canal.
- Delivery of the placenta – after your baby is born, you’ll deliver the baby’s placenta next. Your provider will examine the placenta as well as your uterus to make sure everything is fine.
Natural Births or Pain Relief Medication for a Vaginal Delivery?
Most women decide in advance whether to have an epidural, or to experience labor naturally without pain medication. Whatever you decide our team is here to help you.
If you would like a natural birth, one without an epidural, we will support you and try to make you as comfortable as possible during your labor and birth experience.
If you choose to have an epidural, we’ll administer it when you’re ready. This can be at any point during your labor. Our certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) are on site and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Scheduled C-Section Birth
Many women deliver their baby or babies by cesarean section, or more commonly known as a C-section. A C-section is a surgical delivery of a baby through incisions in the abdomen and uterus.
If your Ob/Gyn thinks this is necessary, the procedure will be scheduled in advanced of your due date. The American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that scheduled cesarean sections not be performed before 39 weeks gestation, unless medically indicated. There are many reasons why you might need a C-section, some most common reasons include:
- Known medical condition, including preeclampsia or heart disease
- Your baby’s health, size or positioning
- You are carrying more than one baby
- You had a C-section before
What to Expect
A C-section delivery is a surgery. In addition to all the regular preparations for bringing home your new baby/babies, it’s also important you prepare for the surgery and your own recovery. Before delivery, your doctor and you will decide a date and time for the C-section, and they’ll provide you with instructions you’ll need to follow the night before and morning of to make sure your skin is as clean as possible to prevent an infection.
Unplanned or Emergency C-Section Birth
Sometimes, circumstances of labor and delivery change, and C-section birth becomes necessary for the health and safety of mom and/or baby. If your birth must switch to a C-section, your physician and health care team will explain why this is and help you prepare for the procedure.
Like a planned C-section, they will prep you like any other surgery, removing any jewelry and cleaning your skin with an anti-bacterial wipe. Your partner will be given special clothes to wear so they can accompany you to the C-section suite and be there for the birth.
If you already had an epidural for labor, it can be dosed more heavily to keep you comfortable. If you have not, an anesthesia provider will tell you about pain management options. In the event of an emergency, the decision may be made to use a general anesthesia to ‘put you to sleep.’ While not very common, rest assured, we’re prepared to handle any emergencies.