Birth Options



You may start to feel changes to signal that labor has begun. Sometimes it is a back ache that is different, but you may not notice many of the signs until labor has progressed. As labor begins, the cervix dilates or opens. The uterus will contract at regular intervals which can make the abdomen hard. Between the contractions, the uterus relaxes. These contractions should come at regular intervals and become closer together and increase in strength as time goes on. The baby can continue to move through this process.

Cesarean Section (C-Section)

Their are several reasons why a cesarean birth is performed. A cesarean birth may be necessary if the mother is having a multiple birth and the babies are either being born too early or are not in good positions. There may be other complications that may require a c-section as well. This chance increases with the number of babies the mother is carrying.

If labor fails to progress, meaning the contractions may not open the cervix enough for the baby to move into the vagina, a cesarean section may be necessary. There could also be concern for the health of the baby, perhaps the umbilical cord is pinched or compressed or the baby may have an abnormal heartbeat.

Some other issues that may require a c-section are problems with the placenta, a large baby or a baby that is in the breech position. There may also be concerns with the health of the mother, such as human immunodeficiency virus, herpes, diabetes or high blood pressure

Just because you may have had previously had a c-section birth, does not necessarily mean that you are not able to give birth vaginally. There are a number of factors that may influence that decision, such as the type of incision used in the previous cesarean delivery, the number of previous cesarean deliveries, any conditions that may make a vaginal delivery risky. Dr. Mager can discuss your options with you prior to delivery.

Labor Induction

Labor induction is the use of medications or other methods in order to bring on or “induce” labor.

Labor may be induced for a number of reasons. It could be to stimulate contractions of the uterus in an effort to have a vaginal birth. If the health of the baby or mother are at risk, Dr. Mager may recommend labor induction. There may also be elective induction. The mother may request induction if she lives very far away from the hospital. But this should not occur before 39 weeks of pregnancy.

Pain Relief Medication

There are generally two types of pain-relieving drugs. The first is analgesics which relieve pain without total loss of feeling or muscle movement. They will lessen pain but will not stop it completely. The other is anesthetics, which will block all feeling, including pain. An epidural block is the most common type of pain relief used during labor and delivery. This is delivered through a tube going into the lower back. Dr. Mager can discuss these options as well as any possible side-effects.

Baby's hand in mother's hand