6 Amazing Ways Your Baby Could be Born

(6 minute read)

There are many different ways your baby can be born. Yes it's true that your baby exits through the vagina or the abdomen if you have a c-section but there are nuances that might mean your baby is born with some extra help. No matter how your baby enters the world, our priority is getting you confident and clued up beforehand, so you can know your birth options so that when it comes to giving birth you feel totally in control.

In the weeks and months leading up to birth, you may be presented with different options. It can be hard to know where to start. Although It’s great to prepare a birth plan ahead of time, the reality is that sometimes, not everything will go exactly as planned, regardless of how meticulously you’ve mapped things out. So it's good to be aware of the different twists and turns your birth could take so that you're fully clued up and can make informed decisions when the time comes. Remember, all decisions during the birth of your baby should ultimately fall with you – the mother.

It's also important that your birth partner understands the different ways your baby could be born so that they can support you in your preferences ahead and during birth.

No matter the method of birth, your baby will be born at some point between conception and 42 weeks (or sometimes even longer). Let’s take a look at 6 different exit routes for your baby, so you can be fully in the know.

6 Different Ways Your Baby Could Be Born

6 Amazing Ways Your Baby Could be Born

1. Vaginal delivery.

First up, you could have vaginal birth with no assistance or tools or intervention used to help your baby be born. This means no medical interventions too - no sweeps, no induction, no epidural. Your contractions would begin spontaneously before your body goes through the whole process of childbirth. Dilation, pushing, crowning before your baby is born, placed on your chest to initiate breastfeeding. Your midwife or healthcare professional should be supporting you throughout – unless you have indicated you want to freebirth. A vaginal birth is straightforward but not always possible for everyone, keep reading for the other methods of birth you may come across before and during labour…

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Other Ways a Baby Can be Born:

2. Vaginal delivery plus forceps

We then have the vaginal birth assisted with forceps - a smooth instrument that healthcare staff can use to guide your baby out. This will potentially mean an episiotomy as well, which involves a cut to the perineum muscles to make room for the forceps. Forceps are usually used to help your baby be born quickly. An episiotomy will take longer to heal than a tear that has occurred naturally because the jagged edges of a tear can bind together whereas a straight cut will take a little longer. It’s advised to seek postnatal pelvic health support if you have given birth with the assistance of forceps. You might also want to consider a cranial osteopath treats your baby after birth to release any tension in the neck and jaw from a forceps or ventouse birth.

3. Vaginal delivery plus ventouse

Next, we’ve got the vaginal birth assisted with ventouse. This means the birth is facilitated by suction - a little cap is placed on your baby’s head to speed up the delivery. Ventouse can also be called a 'kiwi cap'. Ventouse is usually used to help your baby be born quickly. If your baby is born by ventouse it’s advised to see a cranial osteopath after birth – they would release any tension in the neck or jaw which can occur after a ventouse delivery.

4. Vaginal delivery turned to C-Section

We’ve also got birth which begins as labour and then ends up as a C-section. This can happen if you or your baby encounter distress during labour. It can also be offered if you become too tired to keep pushing and your baby needs to be born quickly. These births are often called an 'emergency c-section'. Did you know that you're 20% more likely to take this route if you're induced? 50% of labours are induced in the UK which is why so many women have unplanned caesarean births.

5. Elective C-section

A caesarean is often called a C-section and if is elective if it is decided in advance as being the best and safest plan for you and your baby. This means it is arranged on a specific date before your estimated due date, so you know exactly when you’ll meet your baby!

6. Emergency C-section

And finally, if circumstances dictate, your healthcare professionals will give you an emergency C-section, which is a C-section that occurs under general anaesthetic - not when a vaginal birth has turned into a c-section birth. This can be a really difficult route for a birth to go down because the mother won't be awake for the birth and that can have an impact on mental health. If your baby is born in this way then be sure to recognise how you're feeling and seek help if you need it.

No Matter What, Your Baby Will be Born

Babies don’t stay inside forever and at some point all parents meet their baby. This is important to remember in the weeks leading up to birth – it’s highly likely you will encounter some form of medical intervention and so it’s good to plan out what you are comfortable with. You can do this with the help of hypnobirthing – whether it be an online or in person course. Hypnobirthing helps you to understand the process and make choices you are comfortable with.

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Your Baby and Breastfeeding

Babies are affected by how they are born so it makes sense that the type of birth would impact your baby and breastfeeding. For example, a quick labour may mean your baby is more snuffly because they haven’t gone through the usual process of contractions squeezing everything out. This can mean they have a bit of a blocked nose and struggle to feed effectively at birth. Or, your baby could be born by elective c-section meaning you won’t have had the same hormonal response as you haven’t gone through labour. This can impact your milk coming in, this is nothing to worry about but your milk could be a delayed by a day or so. If you want to breastfeed, discuss your birth preferences with your healthcare provider in advance of birth so you can understand how to breastfeed even if you come up against a plan for birth that you didn’t envisage.

How to Perform C-Section Scar Massage

The Power of Online Hypnobirthing

Online hypnobirthing courses are a great resource to invest in before birth. Not only do they give you the tools you need to understand labour, they also teach you how to navigate birth when things don’t go to plan. The Butterbean hypnobirthing course also includes information about medical interventions which means you can make a plan to be proud of – clued up and understanding your body, birth and the maternity system.

Counselling Organisations for Support After Giving Birth

We really recommend that you have someone to help you deal with any difficult feelings after you give birth so that you can work through them and move on and enjoy your new baby. Sometimes it is good for that person to be a professional who you can talk to in complete confidence.

BACP is a nationwide professional association for counselling and psychotherapy. They have a listing of counsellors who you can see in person or on-line. Check out someone local to you if you prefer to see them in person and check out what they specialise in plus what their fees are.

The Counselling Directory provides a very similar service to BACP

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