Can You Avoid a C-Section?

What can you do to increase your chances of a vaginal birth?

Choose the Right Doctor

For some people, giving birth is a breeze. For others, complications require a cesarean section. But if you're somewhere in between, here are some things you can do to reduce your chances of having a c-section.

In many cases, the practitioner you choose can have a great impact on your chances of having a c-section. For this reason, it's important to do some research before you decide who will deliver your baby.

Different doctors have different opinions about cesareans, so ask them about their cesarean rate and discuss how they'd handle different birth scenarios, suggests Bruce Flamm, MD, an ob-gyn at Kaiser Medical Center in Riverside, California, and a spokesman for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. You'll also want to discuss what skills the doctor has for pushing a borderline situation toward a vaginal delivery.

For example, breech babies can sometimes be turned, notes Joseph Collea, MD, professor and director of maternal-fetal medicine at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C. Unfortunately, not all doctors are trained in the procedure, called external version.

You may also want to consider a midwife; research has found that using a midwife can reduce your chances of having a c-section, as can having a labor companion, or doula.

Birth Stories: "My Labor Stopped"
Birth Stories: "My Labor Stopped"

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