Open Accessibility Menu

Building Your Birth Plan

Building Your Birth Plan

As you prepare for your new arrival, you more than likely have a laundry list of questions about labor and delivery. Among those questions as you envision this day and develop your unique birth plan is likely, “which birthing option is right for me?” Let us help break down the options of birthing methods at Southwest General’s Cosgrove Maternity Center.

Natural/Vaginal Birth

Vaginal birth is the most common birthing method with the baby being delivered through the birthing canal. You may choose to experience your labor and delivery without pain medication—referred to as natural birth—or with pain medication, to assist with discomfort.

  • Benefits: For new moms, recovery from a vaginal birth is often quick, with a lower rate of infection and shorter stay in the hospital. Babies born through vaginal birth may have fewer respiratory issues, as well.
  • Need to Know: During a vaginal birth, your cervix will dilate and your birthing canal will stretch, allowing the baby to pass through. You may feel pressure or burning during birth, and it is possible for you to experience tearing. This is normal, easily repaired and will heal quickly with little to no scarring.

Cesarean Section (C-section)

Almost one-third of births are via Cesarean section (C-section), a method of delivery in which a horizontal incision is made across the lower abdomen to deliver your baby. A C-section may be planned, due to certain complications that arise during pregnancy, or may be done as an emergency intervention during delivery.

  • Benefits: In a planned C-section, you may have the option to select your delivery date. Additionally, a planned C-section may reduce the risk of injury to the baby during delivery, such as oxygen deprivation (asphyxia), shoulder dystocia (an injury resulting from baby’s shoulder(s) getting stuck inside the mother’s pelvis) or fractures.
  • Need to Know: C-sections carry some potential risks, such as infection, blood clots or excessive bleeding. Due to the incision, you will likely stay in the hospital for two to four days to ensure you are healing properly. Your full recovery time, post C-section, will be around eight weeks, during which time you will likely have restrictions such as limits on how much you can lift. Finally, you may have some scarring, albeit oftentimes easy to conceal.

Water Labor and Birth

In a water birth, women labor in a tub of warm water and deliver either in or out of the tub. At Southwest General, birthing tubs are an option for labor only—with all deliveries being done in our state-of-the-art delivery suites.

  • Benefits: For some women, water births can be more relaxing with less pain. Also, they grant the opportunity to labor in different, more natural or comfortable positions. Your partner also may opt to be in the tub with you to support your labor and delivery.
  • Need to Know: Water birth may increase the risk of infection for the baby. Additionally, while the water may help provide comfort during contractions, the delivery is not necessarily pain-free.

Deciding which birthing method is right for you is a personal choice. But, it is important to note that safety is the first priority during labor and delivery. The best laid plans may not always be possible, as some complications can change your plan unexpectedly. Talk to your doctor about your wishes to help tailor a birth experience that is right for you and your family.

At Southwest General’s Cosgrove Maternity Center, our Birthing Journey Team will help you make informed choices for a unique and personal birth experience. To discover more about our team of experts and state-of-the-art birthing suites, visit our website.