Whether this is your first baby or your fourth, it is important for you to understand the birth options available to you in your community, and to feel confident in the choices you make. For low-risk women, whose baby is in the head-down position, a normal vaginal birth is the safest and best option for both you and your baby. Other types of birth include:
If your baby is breech you will determine with your health care provider whether you can try to move the baby into the correct position, have a cesarean birth, or if vaginal breech birth is an option for you.
You can increase your chances of a vaginal birth in the following ways:
- Your labour is not induced unless there is a medical reason to do so;
- You are free to move around as much as you like during your labour (i.e. you’re not confined to a bed). For example, you may feel like standing, walking, swaying back and forth, leaning forward, or kneeling on your hand and knees.
- You receive continuous one-on-one support throughout your labour. This may be provided by a supportive partner, family member or friend, or by a trained birthing coach or doula;
- You are not given interventions without a medical reason,
- You are permitted to eat and drink;
- During the birth, you are free to push in the position that feels best to you, especially positions where gravity can help (e.g. standing, kneeling, squatting)
If you have previously had a cesarean section you do not necessarily need to have another one – this is just one of several birthing misconceptions. For more information on vaginal birth after cesarean section talk to your obstetrician or health care provider.
If you are scheduled to have a cesarean section – check out the information for your hospital