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Methods of delivery

Ways to Give Birth

A natural, problem-free labour is on top of the wish list for any mum-to-be, however medical intervention is sometimes required. These days, there is some flexibility as to where and how you’ll give birth. It’s a good idea to research the options so you can make an informed decision.

Saturday, November 5th, 2016

Drug Free

 

Pain relief is an individual choice, and many mums-to-be have a ‘drug-free’ labour at the top of their birthing plan. You can choose to receive an injection once your baby is born to help you deliver the placenta – or you can deliver it naturally on your own. There will be pros and cons of not using drugs during labour, be informed about the pain relief options just in case and remain flexible during your labour – after all it’s the happy healthy mum and bub that we’re aiming for at the end, not how you achieved it.

 

Water birth

A water birth, as the name suggests, is when you deliver your baby in water. It is a safe method of delivery and more and more hospitals are making this option available to mums. Your baby will be fully submerged when they are born then brought out of the water to breath. This may sound weird as we humans can’t breathe under water, but remember your baby has actually been floating in water the entire time inside you so it’s no different for them.

 

Induction

Labour is induced when it is started artificially, before it spontaneously occurs. There are many reasons why women can be induced such as being overdue, having multiple births or having maternal high blood pressure. There are many ways of inducing labour:

  • Artificially rupturing the membranes: This means ‘breaking the waters’ or rupturing the amniotic sac. This method is sometimes used in conjunction with other methods of induction.
  • Prostaglandin: A gel may be inserted into the cervix with the aim of softening and thinning the walls of the cervix. This method may be individually used or in a combination with oxytocin.
  • Oxytocin: Is a hormone naturally produced by the body which brings on contractions. A synthetic form of this hormone can be used in small doses if other methods of induction don’t work. It is given intravenously to bring on contractions.

 

Caesarean section

Many women today give birth by caesarean section or C-section. This is a surgical operation that involves making a cut in the woman’s abdominal wall to take out the baby. Running along the topmost section of the pubic hairline, it leaves a scar that usually fades over time. Previously, a C-section was performed only when a woman couldn’t deliver her baby vaginally. Today it may be performed for several reasons, for example, to speed up delivery when the woman experiences an abnormal labour; foetal distress, when the umbilical cord comes out prematurely or is wrapped around the baby’s neck; or the baby is in breach position.

 

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