Giving birth is a life-changing experience. Rock Hill GYN & OB in both Rock Hill and Fort Mill, SC, is in your corner to help you throughout your labor and delivery experience. Explore all of your birthing options and talk with your partner and your health care provider about what is right for you.
Making Your Birth Plan
When it comes to making a birth plan, the best way to go about it is to lay out intentions that are clear and specific, while remaining flexible. Having a plan will give you confidence going into your delivery experience; however, it is important to be aware that plans may need to change to best protect your health and the health of your baby. Your labor and delivery team always strives to help you have a fulfilling birth experience that meets all of your goals, while keeping your best interests at the forefront.
This involves going into labor without being induced and having your baby vaginally without any pain medication. Women who have experienced a healthy pregnancy without complications are good candidates for natural childbirth. While the use of certain medications to reduce pain or having an epidural to eliminate pain are safe, they do have inherent risk. Some women are drawn to natural childbirth to experience every moment. Natural childbirth involves no surgery which decreases the recovery time and allows you to return to normal activities sooner. An added benefit is that you are not immobilized from an epidural after your baby is born.
Giving birth through the vagina with the assistance of medication. There are some pain medications that can take the edge off from all of the overwhelming physical sensations and pain that occur during childbirth. You may also choose to have an epidural, which is a form of anesthesia administered by injection inserted into the lower part of your back. Many women who are induced choose to have an epidural because the contractions that occur from the induction can be even stronger than those that occur during natural childbirth.
More commonly known as a C-section, this is a surgical procedure that makes an incision in the abdomen and uterus to deliver the baby. There are some instances where vaginal birth may be risky, so scheduling a C-section can protect the health of the mother-to-be or her baby. Examples of this include:
- Women who have had a C-Section in the past
- Certain problems with the placenta like placenta previa
- Presence of a medical condition such as diabetes or high blood pressure
- Infections like HIV or herpes can be passed to a baby during vaginal birth
There are certain complications that might arise during a vaginal birth or natural birth that necessitate an unplanned cesarean, or c-section. As your health care provider, we want you to obtain your desired birth experience, but it is also our obligation to ensure you and your baby are healthy. Issues that may cause an unplanned c-section include when:
- Labor is not progressing
- Cord compression occurs in which the umbilical cord becomes wound around the baby’s neck or body, or becomes trapped between the baby’s head and the mother’s pelvis
- A prolapsed cord happens when the umbilical cord comes out of the cervix before the baby does
- Abruptio placentae in which the placenta separates from the wall of the uterus prior to the baby being born
- Fetal distress takes place in which your baby’s rate becomes irregular
Vaginal Birth after C-Section (VBAC)
Women who have given birth via C-section previously may be able to experience a vaginal birth if they have a healthy, low-risk pregnancy that occurs at least 18 months after their previous delivery. The biggest determining factor is what type of incision was used to perform the c-section. If it was a high vertical incision, then it is not recommended because that type of incision increases the risk of a uterine rupture. If the incision was a low transverse or low vertical incision, then you may be a candidate. Talk to your doctor about your options and they will help by making recommendations based on your individual circumstances.
Typically, inductions are not scheduled before reaching 39 weeks. They may be recommended for women:
- Who are 1 to 2 weeks past their original due date
- With a high-risk pregnancy
- Who have reached full term and are experiencing significant discomfort
- Who live far away from the hospital or birthing center
- With previous short labor
There are certain risks associated with scheduling an induction related to the presence of additional medical interventions. This can lead to potential complications such as stress on the baby and increases the likelihood of an unplanned c-section. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of planning an induction so you can make an informed decision that is right for you.
Schedule Your Appointment
If you are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant, reach out to the team at Rock Hill GYN & OB. We provide patient-centered care in a comfortable environment, so you receive the support and guidance you need during your pregnancy journey.