How to Avoid C-Section

Many pregnant mums hope to deliver vaginally and seek advice on how to avoid a C-section. However, as new parents often come to learn, things do not always go as planned. Even if you are planning a vaginal birth, it is smart to pen a separate birth plan for cesarean delivery, just in case.

If your baby has distress, you have a history of herpes, or you are having premature labour or bleeding, having a C-section can be a life-saving grace. [Read More: Early Signs of Labour]

The most important advice I can give is that the best birth memory is always delivering a healthy baby. So, make sure you pick a great team and tell them exactly what you want…then put yourself in their hands. You deserve to experience the full joy of welcoming your baby, however he or she arrives!

But if you want to try to avoid a c-section, there are a few things you do to stack the deck in your favour!

Hire a Birth Doula

A doula’s job is to comfort and support you during labour. That special encouragement can be so reassuring and de-stressing that it can lower the risk of a C-section by up to 25%. [Read More: What is a Doula?]

Home Births Have Lower Cesarean Rates

As many as a third of all deliveries are cesarean. Interestingly, having a home birth can significantly reduce this risk, perhaps by as much as 80%. Of course, home births can have their own risks and are not for everyone. So, if you are thinking about a home birth, you have to make sure to choose an experienced OB or midwife, and you have a detailed emergency case you run into issues. [Read More: What to Know About Giving Birth at Home]

Does Walking and Exercise Prevent C-Sections?

According to a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, women who participated in moderate exercise during pregnancy were 34% less likely to have a cesarean delivery than their non-exercising counterparts. Just remember to talk to your doctor before starting a fitness routine during pregnancy. 

Should You Pass on Pitocin to Avoid a C-Section?

Even during labour, there are ways that may help you steer clear of a C-section. Pitocin is an IV medicine mums are given to speed up contractions. It is often given at the same time as an epidural, because the latter may slow labour. Pitocin has good sides…and bad. It can definitely help speed up a stalled labour. However, it can also intensify painful contractions. That is no fun for mums, but more importantly, it may overly stress the baby and require an emergency C-section. Pitocin is one of those areas where your healthcare provider or midwife will make the best call. That is why it is so important to pick someone you fully trust.

Take Childbirth Education Classes to Prepare for a C-Section

Preparing yourself for the birth can dramatically ease the process. Classes like hypnobirthing teach calming techniques and tips to help reduce pain. Here is the key: The more you relax your mind, the more you can relax your muscles…and that encourages your labour progress (instead of prolonging it). And, a faster labour usually leads to a vaginal birth.

If You Cannot Avoid a C-Section, Embrace Your Experience

Sometimes, nothing can be done to prevent a cesarean section. We are so lucky the procedure is an option and modern medicine allows C-sections to be performed more safely than ever before.

Does a C-Section Limit My Bonding with My Baby?


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Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider. Breastmilk is the best source of nutrition for babies. It is important that, in preparation for and during breastfeeding, mothers eat a healthy, balanced diet. Combined breast- and bottle-feeding in the first weeks of life may reduce the supply of a mother's breastmilk and reversing the decision not to breastfeed is difficult. If you do decide to use infant formula, you should follow instructions carefully.