Vaginal Delivery / Normal Delivery

The natural, most common and safest method of childbirth is the vaginal delivery. In many cases, the delivery does not require any major intervention by the doctor. However, sometimes the gynaecologist/obstetrician may use special instruments like forceps (similar to large spoons) to guide the movement of the baby through the birth canal by cupping the head. Alternately, suction cup may be used, if required, to gently pull the baby out from the birth canal.

Cesarean Birth / C-section / Cesarean Delivery

Sometimes, a vaginal delivery may not be possible because of some complications. In such cases, the obstetrician conducts the delivery surgically, by making a cut in the belly of the mother and the uterus. Cesarean section nowadays is a commonly conducted and safe procedure. In most cases, a C-section doesn’t require general anaesthesia and epidural or spinal anaesthesia (an injection in the lower back where only the lower portion of the body is numbed) is adequate. A C-section is carried out by a trained obstetrician, with the help of an anaesthetist and trained nursing and operation theatre staff. Generally, a neonatologist also attends the procedure.

When is a Cesarean section advised?

A Cesarean section is advised as a planned mode of delivery in case some issues are identified beforehand. Some of the reasons include:

  • Position of the baby is not as expected around the due date, i.e., head down.
  • Medical issues with the mother which may be risky for the mother or the baby like, heart disease, infections, etc.
  • Multiple pregnancy or more than one baby (twins or triplets).
  • Previous history of Cesarean section which doesn’t allow a vaginal delivery to be attempted.

However, in many cases, a decision to undertake Cesarean section may be taken while the patient is in labour pain. Such unplanned Cesarean section is advised due to reasons such as:

  • Risk to the baby by a peculiar positioning of the placenta or the umbilical cord
  • Signs of distress of the baby like a very fast or slow heart rate
  • Slow, hard labour