Day 245, Different Types of Birth

Birth can be classified into three categories:

– Vaginal
– Assisted
– Surgical
– Vaginal and Assisted Birth

Vaginal birth is what most people will call normal delivery and in some senses even assisted birth is called a normal delivery. Assisted birth is when the baby needs to be assisted out of the birth canal with the use of forceps or vacuum.

For a first time mother a vaginal birth from the start of labor to the delivery of the placenta can take anywhere from 8-24 hours.

It is divided into 4 distinct stages

First stage – this is when the cervix which is the mouth of the uterus first thins (effaces) and then opens (dilates).

Once the cervix is fully effaced and dilated up to 10 cms then the mom is said to have completed the first stage.

The second stage of labor begins when the baby begins its descent into the birth canal. The passage of the baby from the uterus to the outside world is the second stage of labor.

The third stage of labor is the birth of the placenta. It is called the after birth. The placenta is the organ which supports the baby in the womb. It is the baby’s life line. Now that the baby is born the placenta is a redundant organ and hence needs to be delivered. This happens on its own and even though the mom will feel contractions she will be too excited with the baby to focus on this stage.

The fourth stage of labor is the immediate post partum breast feeding phase. We consider this as the fourth stage of labor as this stage is extremely important in the baby’s initiation into the world.

Surgical or C section Procedure

A baby may need to be delivered surgically for a variety of reasons. We can broadly categorise them as planned C section and emergency C section.

A planned C section is something you would know in advance. It could be due to a maternal or baby health condition or it could be a concern related to the pregnancy, for eg: the placenta is covering the mouth of the uterus or the baby is not in a favorable position for birth. In this situation the doctor will speak to you in advance and ask you to pick a date which is a few days ahead of your actual due date. The reason this is done is to ensure that you do not go into labor which could then become an emergency situation.

At times a mom may go into labor and then certain conditions may need to opt for a surgical birth. Some moms may just not go into labor and be over due, in this case if induction does not work then a C section is the only option.

If it is a planned C section then you will be asked to come to the hospital a night prior. The antibiotics are started and you are asked to stay empty stomach for 12 hours. During the surgery itself there will be a drape placed in front of you so that you do not see the actual surgery. Your husband can be present but he will be near your head and he will also not need to see the surgery. Over all the process can take about 30-45 minutes.

You will also have an iv attached for nutrition and medication as well as a catheter for urination. These will stay in place for 24 hours.

Post the surgery you will be in a recovery room under observation for a couple of hours before you are moved to your room along with the baby. It is a good idea to attempt breast feeding in the recovery room itself.

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