Once a rarity reserved only for emergencies, c-sections have become commonplace, now accounting for nearly 32 percent of all U.S. deliveries according to the Centers for Disease Control. As a result, giving birth surgically is often perceived as easier and the better choice than labor and vaginal delivery, even for low-risk pregnancies. But in most cases, it’s not, and many obstetricians try to avoid this serious medical procedure unless absolutely necessary.
“When I go to the hospital for a delivery, the last thought on my mind is to perform a c-section. If there are no complications, every patient should be given the opportunity to labor and deliver vaginally.” Dr. George McQuilkin, MD (Carepoint Health)
New Jersey has an overall high rate of c-section deliveries, with a startling 38% percent of births demanding this surgery. The benefits to a vaginal birth are numerous. “Women will experience shorter recovery period and hospital stay, it enables immediate mother and child bonding and initiation of breastfeeding, which has numerous benefits for the baby as well as the mother. Even if the patient has had a prior c-section, it has always been my practice to promote vaginal delivery versus c-section delivery.” – Dr. George McQuilkin, MD (Carepoint Health)
If you want to optimize your chances of having a vaginal birth here are a few tips worth noting from Dr. Osbert Fernandez, MD (Carepoint Health)
- Preparation is key. Start with prenatal classes that will inform you of what to expect and de mystify the labor experience.
- Pick a Doctor or midwife you feel comfortable with. They will be providing you with advice, support, and managing your labor. If you are not comfortable with the advice you get in the office you probably won’t like what they have to say or do in the delivery room.
- Try and exercise throughout the pregnancy, labor is a cardiovascular event and stamina and fitness are important.
- Try and keep your weight down. A thirty pound weight gain is appropriate. Patients with ideal body weight have decreased interventions and complications.
- Spend the early part of labor at home, wait until your contractions are occurring every 5 minutes and are of moderate intensity before coming to the hospital.
- And don’t forget to do your research when it comes to Hospitals, some hospital have higher c-section rates than others.