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Trusted Care for Vaginal Birth


The majority of births in the US are vaginal births. A vaginal birth is one in which your baby passes through your vagina, or birth canal.

If you are interested in your options for vaginal birth in the Bay Area, Find a Doctor at Dignity Health. Our experts can help you know what to expect, your options for pain relief, and more.

Dignity Health invites you to take tour of our birth center at Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz and birth center orientation class at Sequoia Hospital in Redwood City.

Why Choose Vaginal Birth

Babies are designed to exit the womb through the vagina. Unless there’s a medical reason for the baby to be delivered by cesarean section (C-section), babies are typically delivered vaginally.

Benefits of a vaginal birth include:

  • Low risk of infection
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Quicker recovery
  • Decreased risk of respiratory problems in the baby

A vaginal birth may not be recommended if:

  • You had a C-section during a previous pregnancy.
  • You or your baby have a health condition that could worsen by labor and birth.
  • Your baby needs to be delivered immediately.
  • You have an active genital infection, such as herpes.
  • You have placenta previa — when the placenta covers the internal opening of your cervix.
  • You are pregnant with more than one baby.

What to Expect from Vaginal Delivery

As your well-being is our priority, your Dignity Health childbirth team will work with you and to make the best possible medical decisions for your specific situation.

While you are in labor, a nurse will carefully monitor you and your baby. Once your cervix is fully dilated, you will start pushing. Your childbirth team will guide and support you as you push. Once the baby is delivered, they will immediately assess you both to make sure you are doing well. After the placenta is delivered, your doctor or midwife will repair your episiotomy or any vaginal tears that may have happened during delivery.

Recovering from Vaginal Birth

After vaginal birth, you will likely feel tired and sore. Contractions will continue every now and then in the hours and days after birth. These contractions help your uterus return to its original shape and feel like strong menstrual cramps.

You will have a postpartum checkup about six weeks after birth, but call your Dignity Health doctor sooner if you notice anything abnormal or have questions after your vaginal birth.

Dignity Health provides the highest quality care for vaginal birth in the Bay Area, including Santa Cruz and Redwood City.