There is no doubt that cesarean sections are on the rise. The increased number is rather alarming, even to the medical field. While there are certain circumstances that a C-section is the best option, it isn’t always the case.
There was a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine which shows that at least 1/3 of cesarean sections are carried out before 39 weeks, which is too early. This will put a newborn at a higher risk for health issues.
While there are several C-sections performed for medically sound reasons, this same study found that at least half of them are elective, or optional surgical births. At the very least, some C-sections can be prevented, with a little effort during pregnancy and labor.
So, let’s take a look at what you can do to increase your chances of a natural child birth.
- Choose your physician with care.
The doctor you choose to guide you through the pregnancy and delivery of your baby will be a key factor in how your delivery goes. Interview doctors and ask important questions, such as their percentage of natural births compared to C-sections. Anything below 10% is considered a low rate.
Another area of consideration when choosing a provider is where they have privileges at and where you would be delivering the baby. The hospital should also be checked out, as their policies for labor and birth will also affect your experience.
Do some diligent research on the provider, as well as the hospital before making your choice on who you want to trust for the best possible care for both you and your baby.
- Utilize various treatments for back pain.
Treating the back pain that often comes with pregnancy can actually increase your chances of having a natural child birth, according to Dr. Elliot Berlin of Berlin Wellness Group. He states that back, hip, and pelvic pain can be a result of tight muscles, or restrictive bone that is not properly adjusting to the pregnancy, which can lead to problems on the day of delivery.
Dr. Berlin goes on to say that various available treatments can open up pelvic bones and relax the pelvic musculature, which can maximize your chance of a natural and safe delivery.
Some of those treatments are:
- Chiropractic Treatments — This can include therapeutic exercises.
- Yoga — Yoga helps to stretch muscles that tighten due to hormonal changes.
- Therapeutic Massage — Massage can help with anxiety, muscle restriction, and circulation.
- Acupuncture — Prenatal acupuncture can help to ease back pain.
When you can ease the pains and tensions that can be associated with pregnancy, it will also help your chances in delivering your new baby naturally. In fact, I am currently working with a chiropractor in Phoenix Arizona on a series of articles on back pain in pregnancy.
- Knowledge is power.
Learn as much as you can about pregnancy and child birth, as the “education” you get will be the most powerful tool you have. I personally research everything on the internet, and love the ability to learn so much at my fingertips.
However, there are also classes available, which will place you in touch with others going through the same process, and you just may learn more from their questions. The more you learn, the more armed you will be in making the right choice for you and your baby.
- Avoid inducing if possible.
Inducing increases your chances of a C-section, especially if it’s your first delivery. Talk to your physician about avoiding induction to see what your options are, if they are promoting it. Just keep in mind, sometimes it is the best option.
Elective inductions to fit your schedule or your doctor’s schedule should be avoided, especially if you do not want a C-section. You might as well get used to the idea that your schedule won’t ever be your own again and it might as well start with the birth.
- Have help during labor.
Having someone in the room with you helping you through the labor process can help relieve some of the anxiety that goes along with labor and delivery. If that can be diminished at all, it will help the entire process to go more smoothly. This could be a loved one or someone professionally trained in labor coaching.
All of the above information can help increase your odds for a natural delivery. However, it is best to consult your physician with any decision or question you might have. They are accustomed to new moms-to-be asking questions and a good doctor should be prepared to answer them all.
In closing, it’s a common belief that natural child birth, in a relatively healthy pregnancy, is less risky than a C-section, both for mom and baby. It’s also an easier recovery period for most women. Of course, there will be exceptions, just as with anything else. However, the steps above might help you deliver in the manner of your choice.
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