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Popular Methods Of Child Delivery: Here's What You Need to Know

Medically reviewed by Regina Victoria Boyles, MD · Pediatrics

Written by Nikita Bhalla · Updated Jan 27, 2023

Popular Methods Of Child Delivery: Here's What You Need to Know

Childbirth is a unique and fulfilling time in a woman’s life. Understanding how each delivery method works will help you identify the way you want to bring your little one to this world. However, you also need to understand that the different methods may not be suitable for you owing to different factors that we have also discussed in this article. Here are four popular methods of child delivery, their benefits, and disadvantages.

Popular methods of child delivery: Vaginal delivery

This form of delivery is often regarded as the safest one. The baby is taken out of the womb from the birth canal. However, vaginal delivery is also condition-specific, especially if your body is not prepared for it.

There are two ways of going about vaginal birth, medicated and non-medicated. Medicated can mean using epidurals and pain-relieving medication. For women planning to have more than one child, vaginal delivery is considered the best option solely because the healing process of the vagina is quicker with this method. Within vaginal delivery, there are two methods to assist in this process:

Vacuum Extraction

A small suction cup is used to pull the baby out of the birth canal with the vacuum created. This force is much lower in speed. Once contractions begin, the baby starts to push itself out of the vagina. This method makes it easier to take the baby out safely. However, this method can leave a bruise on the baby’s head, which resolves itself in 24-48 hours.

Forceps delivery

This form of delivery involves two big spoon-like forceps that hold the baby’s head to help it out of the vagina. This process is extremely gentle and does not harm the baby or the mother in any way.

Risks of vaginal delivery

Vaginal delivery has its own set of pros and cons. The pros include lower infection rate, faster healing of your perineum, and you can be discharged sooner. Studies also suggest that infants born through this method have fewer respiratory issues.

The cons of vaginal delivery include perineum tear, or the area between your vagina and rectum might tear during delivery. This is not permanent and heals in due time. Another con is that vaginal delivery is not for everyone, sometimes due to the pain involved and other pre-determined medical reasons.

Popular methods of child delivery: Caesarean Section

Also known as C-section, this is one of the popular methods of child delivery where an incision is made on the mother’s lower abdomen. This causes the healing process to sometimes take more than three days.

A C-section can be planned well in advance and is preferred in specific cases such as when:

  • The baby’s head is large
  • Baby is breeching
  • The uterus has fibroids
  • Multiple births at the same time as in the case of twins
  • The mother has had a C-section before as well

Risks of C-section

Some risks of having a C-section are heavy bleeding, increased blood clots, vaginal infection, and injury to neighboring organs. C-sections can sometimes also lead to unforeseen complications, which only arise once the doctor makes an incision. Experts also say that babies born through this method might have respiratory issues and might be kept in the neonatal ward for days. C-section also means more healing time and later discharge.

Popular methods of child delivery: VBAC

This method is short for vaginal birth after caesarean. It is used if you wish to have a vaginal delivery after you’ve had a C-section during your last delivery. Even though very few women opt for it, the success rate is not less for this method.

VBAC is only recommended in specialized cases because the incision caused by a C-section delivery can come in the way of this one.

Risks of VBAC

The benefits of this method are quicker recovery time as well as reduced expense, and a positive impact on future deliveries if you’re planning on having more children. A VBAC can prevent you from infections, injury to other organs, and also save you from a lot of blood clots.

VBAC, however, is not an option if you’ve had two or more C-sections before, are above the average maternal age, are obese, and if your pregnancy has surpassed the 40-week bracket.

Popular methods of child delivery: Natural delivery

A method from ancient times, it is rarely used now. This is especially because the pain threshold required for natural delivery is greater than vaginal birth and C-section. This form of delivery is also known as medication-free childbirth. However, sometimes women do opt for an epidural if the pain intensifies. Natural delivery means not using a routine IV, pain relievers, forceps, or vacuum extractors for childbirth.

Women opt for this process for various reasons like the bond they will share with their child, having more control over their delivery, and not using medication to deflect pain. This way women wish to experience childbirth in the manner nature meant it to be.

A natural delivery would require a physician or OB-GYN, or a midwife to help you during labor, and your partner or someone from the family who can be your support while delivering the baby. Studies show that the more people there are in the delivery room, the more it obstructs labor, making the process slower.

Risks of natural birth

There are various ways of going about natural delivery. The most common methods are water births and plain squatting. There are risks involved in natural delivery as well. The biggest risks are heavy blood loss, issues with the umbilical cord, fever, severe headache, and consistent lower abdomen pain.

Natural delivery is not for women who have had a C-section before or are above 35. This is also not suitable for women who are carrying more than one child or have a medical history of blood clotting. It is also not recommended for women who used alcohol or drugs during their term.

Key takeaway

While there are no specific rules as to which is the best kind of delivery, there may be factors which cause doctors to recommend certain kinds of delivery. Otherwise, the decision is yours among the popular methods of child delivery.

Please ask your gynecologist before opting for any of the popular methods of child delivery mentioned above.

Learn more about Labor and Delivery here.


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Regina Victoria Boyles, MD


Written by Nikita Bhalla · Updated Jan 27, 2023

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