It’s hard to know what to expect during labor and delivery. Attending a childbirth education class can help you understand what to expect. They explain your options for labor and birth, including:
At Dignity Health, we believe you should experience childbirth in a way that meets your individual desires and needs. Our family-centered environment is well-known for its commitment to exceptional care of mothers and their newborns. If you would like to learn more about birthing options in Arizona, schedule a tour at one of our birthing centers, or register for birthing classes near you, call (877) 728-5414.
Epidurals & Pain Relief
An epidural is a type of regional anesthesia. It is the most common form of pain relief during labor and delivery. It involves injecting anesthetic into the epidural space — an area that protects the spinal cord. Epidurals eliminate most childbirth pain during either a vaginal or C-section birth. A woman who receives an epidural remains awake, alert, and able to participate in the birth.
A midwife is a health care provider who cares for women, most often during uncomplicated pregnancy, labor, and birth. They consider pregnancy and birth a normal, natural event that does not require routine medical intervention. Instead, a midwife teaches women how to work with their bodies during labor and birth.
Research suggests women who use midwives for pregnancy care are less likely to need pain medication, more likely to move around during labor, and less likely to have a C-section.
Natural birth generally refers to the process of going through labor and birth without using pain medication or other medical interventions. Women choose this method of childbirth for a variety of reasons, including wanting to avoid medication side effects and fully experiencing labor and birth. Sometimes, a woman will have a natural birth because her labor progresses so quickly there is no time to give medication or perform any interventions. Common pain relief options during natural childbirth include distraction, water therapy, massage, controlled breathing, and relaxation techniques.
Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC)
About 90 percent of women who have had a C-section in the past are still candidates for a vaginal delivery. Having a VBAC can result in a shorter recovery and fewer risks.
Preparation for a VBAC is the same as for a regular vaginal delivery. You can still have an epidural with a VBAC if you want one. If you choose to attempt a VBAC, be prepared for another C-section in the event that vaginal delivery is unsuccessful.
During a C-section, your obstetrician makes an incision in your lower abdomen and wall of your uterus to deliver your baby. Your doctor may recommend a C-section when it is a safer alternative for you, your baby, or both. Sometimes, a woman may need an emergency C-section when a problem arises during a vaginal labor and delivery.
Dignity Health provides specialized prenatal, labor, and delivery care, offering several birthing options in Arizona.