Childbirth can seem overwhelming for many women, and nerves are not uncommon whatsoever! Regardless of how your child enters the world, we are here to equip you with information on the variety of ways this can happen, and what to expect leading up to the birth of your baby.

Vaginal Childbirth: Prior to going through with a vaginal birth, it is important to have your hospital bag packed in order to prevent any unneeded additional stress the day of delivery. When you first go into labor, there will be three stages- early, active, and transitional. Though the first phase may go unnoticed by expecting mothers, contractions will intensify as labor progresses. After the three phases of labor are complete, this is the time mothers go into delivery! When you are fully dilated at 10 centimeters, it is now up to the mother to push in order for the baby to completely go through the birth canal. The baby will then crown and be delivered! Mild contractions will occur after your baby has emerged from the birth canal due to the delivery of the placenta. In order to cope with the pain and discomfort of childbirth that accompanies vaginal delivery, speak with your doctor regarding medication you would be able to receive prior to giving birth.

C-section (planned or unplanned): A cesarean section, or C-section, is the surgical option for delivering your baby. Incisions are made in the abdomen and uterus, and can be necessary for a variety of different reasons. If you are expecting a large baby, or if you are overweight, older, pregnant with more than one baby, have complicated medical history, among a variety of other factors, you could potentially require a C-section. Even if you are not previously scheduled for a C-section, sometimes the health of the baby or state of your pregnancy/labor process deems this delivery method medically necessary. 

Natural ChildbirthPrior to having a natural birth, it is important to begin classes that will allow you to prepare for this moment. This method is still a vaginal birth, but would take place with a Doula or midwife rather than relying on medical interference throughout the birthing process. This commonly takes place at a birthing center, or even at your own home, rather than a hospital. If you choose to pursue a water birth, you would be spending part of the birthing process in a pool of warm water. However, it is important to be informed regarding the potential risks to your baby prior to choosing this method. However, a water birth is not the only way to have a natural childbirth. These methods include shifting positions between all fours, squatting, or kneeling as opposed to lying down in a surgical position. You can also opt to not receive anesthesia if you feel that is the best decision for your pregnancy. Breathing techniques and massages are some of the numerous ways you can cope with a drug-free childbirth process. One of the benefits of a natural birth is an increased likelihood of success with breastfeeding your baby due to immediate contact following delivery. However, there are several drawbacks as well, including an increased likelihood of complications during labor. If you decide to give birth at home and either you or your baby require immediate medical attention, you may not be able to reach healthcare professions in the window of time necessary. In addition, this method is only advised for mothers who are expecting one child rather than multiple. 

Scheduled Induction:  If you are more than two weeks after your original due date, not experiencing contractions after your water breaking, facing pressing medical issues, among other factors, labor may have to be induced for childbirth.