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Birth FAQs

Where should I deliver my baby? There are many options for you, but it is important to remember that one is not necessarily better than another. Home births, hospital births, and birthing centers are the most common choices, but sometimes the baby chooses when and where.

Who can deliver my baby? Obstetricians and family practitioners are usually the doctors who deliver babies, but certified nurse midwives and certified nurses can also perform the task if necessary.

What are my options for childbirth? Vaginal births and Cesarean births are the only two ways to deliver a baby, but there are variations on each. For example, some mothers opt for water births. Whether this is an option for you depends on your health, as well as your baby’s health. In some cases your doctor will handle the delivery to ensure your well-being and your baby’s.

What’s a VBAC? VBAC stands for Vaginal Birth After (previous) Cesarean; many women choose to give birth vaginally after previously having given birth via C-section. Most women are candidates for this, even if they have had previous C-sections. There are risks involved, such as uterine rupture, but these risks are generally considered minimal. In fact, only one to two percent of cases report uterine ruptures.

How early in my pregnancy should I pack a bag for the hospital? It is never too early to prepare for your big day. The sooner you begin to prepare, the better prepared you will be. Besides packing for you and your baby, it is important to pack for the other parent, siblings, grandparents, and anyone else who is going to be present during that time.

I’m carrying twins; will my delivery be more painful? That depends on the method you and your healthcare provider choose to deliver them. Most multiple births are done by Cesarean, and you will be given medication to help with the pain. A natural, vaginal childbirth can be twice as painful.

What types of Birth Control are out there? There are many different ways to prevent pregnancy, such as condoms, diaphragms, cervical caps, spermacides, pills, patches, vaginal rings, injections and sterilization. Talk with your partner and your doctor to decide which method would be best for you, especially if you have just given birth.

I lost my insurance during my pregnancy and my due date is approaching. What are my options? There are many governmental programs and discount programs such as Medicaid, WIC and Maternity Advantage. As soon as you know your insurance has been lost, immediately contact one of these programs to help with the financial burden. Also, it is important to remember that no doctor will turn you away, especially one you have been seeing on a regular basis throughout your pregnancy, and especially if you go into labor.

When is it okay to induce labor? There are numerous reasons why a woman or her doctor might elect to induce labor; it is usually done if a baby is more than two weeks late or is of large size. There are risks involved, of course, and it is even possible for an induction to fail.

What are the different ways of inducing labor? The different ways to induce labor include stripping the membranes, amniotomy, giving the hormone prostaglandin to ripen the cervix, and giving the hormone oxytocin to stimulate contractions.

What is Amniotomy? This method is known as “breaking the water,” and it involves rupturing the amniotic sac, bringing on labor within hours.

Do I need a birth plan? Not necessarily, but it is never a bad idea to have one. Birth plans are designed to help an expectant mother keep control of a potentially unexpected situation. It gives everyone, including family, friends, doctors, and other medical personnel, an idea what you want before, during, and after labor.

Am I in labor or is it Braxton Hicks contractions? Many women experience Braxton Hicks contractions during the second and first part of the third trimester and are led to believe they are actually in labor. Talk with your doctor about the tell-tale signs of real labor so you know the difference between labor and Braxton Hicks contractions.

Is a water birth safe? Water births are a safe and common procedure. They are also much safer when you have at least one other person there assisting you, such as a midwife.

What positions can I deliver my baby in? There are several different positions you can be in during labor and birth to help you relieve pain and discomfort. These positions include lying on your back, lying on your side, sitting, standing upright, squatting, or on your hands and knees.

[Page updated May 2014]