6 Different Types of Delivery Methods You Must Know

Medically Reviewed by
Dr. Aruna Kalra (Gynaecologist)
View more Gynaecologist Our Panel of Experts

Bringing a baby into this world is a monumental feat and cannot be achieved easily. Although normal vaginal delivery is commonly referred as the typical way of birthing,  New techniques help labouring women in many ways, either by dampening their pain or  smoothening the delivery process. . Advancements in medical sciences have discovered various methods so that delivery can be made successfuleven in the face of any complications or risks

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Most Common Types of Childbirth Options

Expecting mothers can look forward to the following delivery options.

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1. Vaginal Delivery

When a baby is born through the birth canal of a woman’s body, the delivery is termed as a vaginal delivery. It may or may not be assisted with epidurals or painrelieving medication. The exact time of birth cannot be predicted in such a case, but most vaginal births tend to happen once 40 weeks of pregnancy have been completed.

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Most doctors recommend  a vaginal birth if there is a possibility for it and advise against going for caesarean delivery. During the stress of labour pains, the baby secretes hormones for the development of its brain and lungs; moreover, passaging through the birth canal squeezes the baby’s chest to clear all amniotic fluid and expand its lungs effectively. For mothers planning to have multiple children, vaginal births are highly recommended. When done with an incision above the anal area, the procedure is called episiotomy.

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With vaginal deliveries, mothers can recover from the stress of deliveryquicker and return home sooner with their babies. The chances of infection in such cases are lower than others. The baby too has a lower chance of suffering from any breathing problems if born via the vagina.

2. Natural Childbirth

This is one of the types of birth that is steadily gaining popularity. In this method, there are no medical procedures or invasive therapies involved, and the process takes place in the most natural manner possible. This is mostly a personal choice and the mother needs to be committed throughout the way.

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Various exercises and positions are taken into account while carrying out delivery in natural ways. A midwife usually stays with the mother to ensure the delivery is successful and the mother is in good spirits. The delivery can take place at the hospital or even at home, with all preparations done beforehand.

Water birthing or pool birthingwith the help of upthurst ( buoyancy ) pressure of water can alleviate labour pain in this procedure. Water birthing is the most natural and painless way of bringing new life to the world.

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Natural birth can be extremely empowering for a mother. Having skin-to-skin contact with the baby immediately after delivery can foster a strong bond between the mother and the child. It also triggers hormones in the body that start producing milk in the breasts right away.

3. Caesarean Section

Things don’t always go according to plan. A mother might want to undertake vaginal delivery but if complications arise,  caesarean delivery is an option that might have to be taken.

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In this method, the baby is delivered by opening up the abdomen of the mother and surgically opening the uterus to remove the baby. The name is derived from the Latin word ‘caedare’,  which means ‘to cut’. Hence, this type of the cut is called a C-section – thats how the delivery method gets its name.

Many mothers decide to have a caesarean delivery in advance, which allows the hospital and doctors to start making preparations accordingly. This could be out of choice or even after a sonography has revealed certain parameters which make it necessary to undertake a C-section, such as the presence of twins or triplets, breech or transverse presentation, or a very large baby.

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In other cases, if vaginal delivery fails even after a good trial of labour or if any complication arises, such as breech position while delivering , meconium stained liquor or obstruction in the birth canal, the doctors will have to quickly resort to undertaking a C-section and removing the baby out of the uterus in time.

4. Forceps Delivery

This is a rather peculiar type of delivery method and is required in certain cases of vaginal birth. This is anassistance to the usual vaginal delivery when the baby is on its way via the birth canal but fails to fully emerge out. This could be because of  small obstructions, or the mother being tired and exhausted and hence being unable to push the baby out.

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In these cases, the doctor makes use of specially created tongs which resemble forceps, and inserts them slowly into the birth canal. These are then used to gently grab the baby’s head and guide  it outwards through the canal.

5. Vacuum Extraction

Similar to the forceps delivery method, this delivery technique is  used in the case of a vaginal birth. For example, if the baby is on its way out but has stopped moving further down the canal, the vacuum extraction method is applied.

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The doctors  make use of a specialized vacuum pump which is inserted up to the baby via the canal. The vacuum end has a soft cup which is placed on the top of the baby’s head. Vacuum is created so that the cup holds the head, and the baby is gently guided outwards through the canal.

6. Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC)

Most of the time, once a woman has had a caesarean delivery, her chances of having a vaginal delivery after that are pretty much nullified. But in recent times, certain techniques are making it possible for women to have successful vaginal deliveries even after the previous delivery method hsa been  a C-section. This is termed as vaginal birth after caesarean (VBAC).

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Small hospitals do not opt for VBAC since an emergency C-section requires more staff and resources which may not always be possible. Also, any previous complications during delivery or any conditions faced by the mother could make the doctor advise against a vaginal delivery.

Birthing techniques have their own advantages and disadvantages,. The focus should always be on ensuring that the baby is delivered safely, the baby comes out healthy into the world, and the mother stays safe throughout the entire process of delivery. When it comes to a delivery method you want to choose versus one that your doctor recommends for you, it is always best to go with the doctor’s recommendation to avoid any complications in the future.

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Also Read: Lamaze Childbirth Method