With cesarean rates above 25 percent nationally, many women want to know about vaginal births and how to get one. Cesarean births come with risks, side effects and a longer recovery time (for most women) than vaginal births. A vaginal birth is not necessarily a natural birth, but it is a non-cesarean birth. A natural childbirth is a birth without any interventions such as pain medicine.
The more you learn about vaginal birth, the better your chances are of having one. There are many places you can learn about vaginal birth.
- Talk to your care provider. Your care provider is the one who will decide if a cesarean birth is the way the go. Ask them when they perform cesarean births, what the reasons are, and if you are at a higher risk for a cesarean birth. If you are carrying multiples or have a medical condition such as gestational diabetes, you are at a higher risk. In addition, cesareans are never performed by family practitioners or midwives. If your care provider is a midwife or family practitioner, they will refer you to an ob/gyn if it seems that you may require the surgery.
- Talk to your childbirth educator. Your childbirth educator is a wonderful resource about vaginal birth. She will educate you and give you ways to increase your odds for a vaginal birth.
- Talk to your doula. A doula is a professional labor coach. Like your childbirth educator, she will have educational resources about vaginal birth. If you decide to hire a doula, statistically, your chances of needing a cesarean birth are less.
- Go to your local bookstore. Your bookstore will have shelves of books about birth. Some, like Birthing from Within by Pam England and Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin are focused on natural and vaginal births. Other books like The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer seek to educate you about interventions and cesarean sections. Most childbirth books will give you a great deal of information about vaginal births.
- Read articles on the Internet. There are many great articles on the web about childbirth. However, you should be cautious about them, since a great many childbirth myths are also perpetuated because of the Internet. Check the author's credentials before reading an article and understand that some articles and studies will contradict themselves.