In recent times, Caesarean delivery has become more popular than normal delivery. Despite the fact that it is risky for both the mother and the child, even women having low-risk pregnancy are opting for it. They do so to get away from the pain and the anxiety that one may experience during labour. However, there are women who do not want to deliver using this method. They try to have a normal delivery in every way possible because recovery after a caesarean delivery takes a long time and could also pose complications in the future.
10 Helpful Ways to Avoid C-Section
Caesarean deliveries are usually conducted in case of medical issues when any obstetric complications arise. It can save lives of many babies and mothers. However, the risk factors associated with caesarean delivery are many as opposed to normal delivery. So how do we avoid a c-section delivery? Here is a list of ten tips on how to avoid a caesarean birth.
- Choose your Health Expert Wisely
Before going into labour, it is good to research a bit on the hospital you want to deliver and the doctor you wish to hire to deliver. Many doctors prefer a Caesarean delivery because it is easy for them. If a normal delivery is on your list of priorities, then hire a doctor who has had the least number of caesarean deliveries. It is important to discuss with your doctor and the hospital about your delivery preference at the very beginning itself. Ask the hospital about their C-section rates and their birthing practices. If you are still not sure which doctor or hospital to choose, then you can ask your relatives, friends or multiple women who may have had a normal delivery. It is necessary to choose your Gynaecologist wisely to avoid a C-section or an unnecessary medical intervention.
2. Hire A Certified Midwife
Hiring a good midwife is a great move. She believes in the ability of the body to give a normal birth. An experienced midwife is better at guiding women during labour. A certified midwife is well trained to guide a woman during vaginal delivery without any medical interventions like a c-section or an epidural. She is even capable of helping a woman deliver at home. However, in case of high-risk pregnancies, along with a midwife, it is advisable to consult a doctor as well.
3. Antenatal Class
Taking antenatal classes during your pregnancy can be a great help. The classes teach you yoga postures which can help you to have a normal delivery. The breathing exercises help in easing the pain during the time of labour. Several tips are given to help avoid a caesarean delivery. These classes will give you an insight into the various birth processes and what to expect during labour. The knowledge about childbirth will be an added advantage if and when you need to decide. The classes will have medical practitioners and caregivers answer your question on how to prevent a C-section.
4. Eating A Nutritious And Well-Balanced Diet
Undergoing labour and delivering a baby is no mean feat. It takes a lot of energy to do so. Therefore, eating healthy and balanced meals at regular intervals is important. In fact, the belief that a pregnant woman should eat for two is a myth. It only leads to obesity which can be one of the biggest risk factors for c-section. One of the sure shot ways to ensure that your diet is balanced is to have all the four food groups in it like fruits and vegetables, protein, dairy and grains. You can consult your midwife or your doctor for specific food advice. In case, you have gestational diabetes, high blood pressure or any other health complications, you can consult a dietician as well who will guide you with a specific diet.
As long as your doctor or midwife does not disapprove, you should do moderate exercises to keep yourself fit. The best form of exercises that one can do during pregnancy is walking, swimming and practising pre-natal yoga poses which is beneficial during childbirth. The Lamaze technique (consciously patterned breathing exercises) usually taught in the antenatal classes are also very helpful to cope with labour. However, pregnant women should refrain from doing heavy exercises like weight training.
6. Avoid Being Induced
Labour induction which is the process of bringing in labour through medicines may be necessary sometimes. However, if the baby and mother are doing well, one should avoid it. It is seen that labour induction doubles up your chances of having a caesarean. Do not go to the hospital until you are in your last stage of labour. Reaching hospital early could lead you to unnecessary medical interventions like a c-section.
7. Learn How To Turn A Breech Baby
A breech baby is positioned as feet downwards and head upwards. This position causes complications during the time of delivery. In this condition, a woman has to undergo caesarean delivery. Therefore, if your baby is in breech position at around the 36th week, your doctor or your midwife can teach you hands to belly movements to turn your baby’s head downwards. This correction in the baby’s position will reduce the mother’s chances of delivering through c-section. In case of failure to alter the position of the baby, the doctor may use forceps or vacuum extractor as a safe alternative to a C-section.
8. Getting Plenty Of Rest In The Last Trimester
Taking plenty of rest during your pregnancy is as important as being active. A well-rested woman will be able to take up the challenge of delivering a baby without any interventions better than women who have not taken much rest. A woman requires a lot of energy while in labour and during the time of delivery. She will have this energy only if she is well rested during her pregnancy. It is important for a pregnant woman to sleep for at least 7-8 hours a day. However, getting a comfortable position to sleep in during pregnancy is not easy. It is advisable to turn on the left side while lying down with legs bent. Keeping several pillows in between the two legs and the lower back will give them more comfort.
9. The 3 Questions
If your doctor suggests you a C-section, ask him 3 questions –
- Is my baby ok or is it something serious?
- Am I doing okay or is something wrong with me?
- Can we wait for sometime before going in for a C-section?
In case your doctor agrees to wait, that means there is no urgency. Probably just a bit of impatience in the part of your doctor. In such a case you may ask him to wait and see. At times, doctors may say things like “waiting will not make any difference”. According to him, even after 2-3 hours things will be the same. However, waiting for those 2-3 hours could help you have a normal delivery. Even if you could not have one after that wait and had to eventually go in for a C-section, you at least will know that you tried your best.
10. Being Stress Free During Pregnancy And Labour
Stress is common during pregnancy and more so when you go into labour. Just be calm and stress-free through the period. Feeling scared and anxious can affect your baby and get him distressed in the mother’s womb. This could lead you to have pre-term labour and force you to have a caesarean delivery. Having regular perineal massages after the 7th month can help you to relax. It also reduces joint pain and swelling associated with pregnancy along with stress. It is also advisable to stay away from women who have oodles to relate to their difficult pregnancy. Put stress at bay by listening to soothing music, practising breathing exercises and yoga, going for walks, meditating and being surrounded by happy people. Even during labour, if you wish to, you can ask the doctor to play some music of your choice and have someone like your husband around you to encourage and give you support.
Weigh the pros and cons of both – C-section as well as a normal delivery. If you feel that the pros of having a normal delivery are more than a C-section, then go for it. Nothing can be better than being self-assured.