These days more and more women are opting for a caesarean (C- section) birth. In the U.S., under a quarter of pregnant women have their first pregnancy delivery through a C-section. C-section resolve labour that has medical complications and helps to save the lives of mother and baby however many experts believe that the surgeries are done too frequently, so these can be avoided. Given below are few recommendations that can be used to avoid a caesarean delivery:
Most women deliver their babies under the care of an obstetrician, but studies show that midwives can be more successful in guiding labouring women through vaginal deliveries. Before choosing a midwife, one should confirm her credentials. She should possess a Bachelor’s or a Master degree in midwifery. Midwives are not trained to perform surgery or handle high-risk deliveries but most are affiliated with the hospitals. She will guide you when to visit the hospital during labour. Midwives generally don’t use forceps or vacuum pump; they as are not trained to use them. The deliveries conducted by them are life to save for the mother and baby and can prevent the C-section. If you have a high-risk pregnancy; such as expecting twins and multiples, GDM or high BP, then you are not advised to go to a midwife without consulting an obstetrician.
Choose the one who respects your desire. Ask her where she will deliver your baby, in the hospital or in a birthing centre. More flexibility gives you more control.
Get information on how to prevent a C-section by taking a natural birthing class which will tell you about breathing techniques and how to get through labour without any pain medication or intervention. You will learn how to manage you pain naturally through body positioning and breathing. You will also learn exercises, which can reduce your need for medical intervention including a C-section. Eating a healthy diet with lots of protein, fruits, vegetables and complex carbohydrates will help you in the best shape when the time comes. Obesity is the biggest risk factor requiring a C-section, therefore maintain a healthy weight for your age and body type. Avoid over-weight and under-weight also.
If you have rested properly, you will be likely to handle the physical demands of childbirth without any interventions. Pregnant ladies need more sleep than they think, their body is more tired than usual. Do not go to the hospital until you are in active labour. Showing up too early in the hospital, when you are still in the early stages of labour can lead to unnecessary intervention during labour. The first phase is the longest with mild contractions walking around on your feet and squatting will help your labour go through normally until you reach active labour.
It is done for convenience rather than necessity. But sometimes due to some medical reasons, induction is necessary. But as long as you and your baby are well, avoid the induction. Induction can double your chances of C-section.
There is conflicting evidence that epidural can increase the chances of C-section. An epidural given too early can increase the chances of C-section, but with walking epidural makes pushing easier.
If you have requested your spouse or birth partner to be with you in the delivery room, he will support you through your contractions, remind your of your goals and speak up for you when you are exhausted.