The C-section rate is currently just over 30% in the US and many women wonder how they can avoid this surgery for their birth. Below are five simple but effective things that any mother can do to help prevent her birth from being a C-section.
1. Education- A woman who understands the process of labor and birth and knows what is normal and what isn’t can really reduce her chance of having a C-section. How do you educate yourself when it comes to birth? Taking a natural childbirth class from a trained and experienced instructor is one way. Focus on one that prepares the partner and the mother and helps them learn to work together. Reading books and doing your own at-home study is also very helpful. Books can teach you about positions, health, nutrition, and relaxation to name just a few.
2. Carefully choose your care provider- One of the biggest factors in how a woman births is simply how her doctor or midwife practices. Check their C-section rates and also talk to local birth educators, doulas, and friends to find what other people think about your provider.
3. Stay mobile in labor- One simple and surprisingly obvious but often ignored thing a woman can do in labor is to MOVE. This can help the baby move down in the birth canal and keep mom more comfortable as she uses gravity to help her labor progress.
4. Avoid induction- A first time mom who is induced significantly increases her chance of C-section, in some studies by as much as DOUBLE. Be sure that if you choose induction it is for a valid reason. Get your Bishop score prior to the induction to find out what your odds of a vaginal birth are.
5. Hire a doula- A hands on and knowledgeable friend who is trained in assisting laboring woman can really make the birth experience more positive for both mom and dad and can decrease the C-section chance for that mother.
These are five simple things that every mother can do to help lower her chances of a C-section. Remember, your birth is worth the time and preparation that you put into it.