Childbirth Delivery Methods and Types

  • Medical Author:
    Erica Oberg, ND, MPH

    Dr. Erica Oberg, ND, MPH, received a BA in anthropology from the University of Colorado, her doctorate of naturopathic medicine (ND) from Bastyr University, and a masters of public health (MPH) in health services research from the University of Washington. She completed her residency at the Bastyr Center for Natural Health in ambulatory primary care and fellowship training at the Health Promotion Research Center at the University of Washington.

  • Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
    John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

    John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

    John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.

Women in labor

10 Early Signs and Symptoms of Labor

While the signs and symptoms of impending labor are different for every woman; the signs and symptoms of normal labor can begin three weeks prior to the anticipated due date, and up until two weeks afterward. There is no precise way to predict exactly when a woman will go into labor. The 10 most common signs and symptoms of labor are:

  1. An increased urge to urinate
  2. The mucus plug dilates
  3. Back pain
  4. A burst of energy
  5. Diarrhea...

Childbirth and delivery methods and types facts

  • Childbirth delivery options include natural unassisted childbirth, assisted childbirth, and delivery by Cesarean surgery (C-section).
  • Childbirth delivery locations include at home, in a birth center, or in a hospital.
  • Vaginal births without medication can be less painful, and smoother if the mother and partner learn breathing techniques and other strategies in a birthing class. Lamaze Method or The Bradley Method are two common childbirth classes.
  • The risks and benefits of each delivery method must be weighed along with the mother's preferences to determine what is right for her.
  • Nearly 4 million babies are born in the U.S. every year. Childbirth care in the U.S. is very good. Less than 600 women die annually due to complications during childbirth.1
  • Is childbirth painful?

    Every woman's experience is unique but most mothers would honestly say, yes, childbirth is painful. However, it is short-lived, and there are many types and methods to effectively reduce the intensity of childbirth pain. There are many choices in childbirth. Women can choose the method that makes them most comfortable, and that makes sense for their personal and medical situation.

    What natural childbirth methods are available at home?

    Natural childbirth at home was the normal (and only) childbirth delivery option until about 75 years ago. Natural childbirth emphasizes an unrushed, supported process, with minimal interference and less invasive monitoring. Women who prefer an unassisted childbirth often attend classes to learn what to expect and how to be prepared. There are a number of different childbirth classes to choose. In any class, you learn about the stages of labor, breathing and relaxation techniques, what happens to the vagina after childbirth, and how to be prepared for the delivery and new baby. The different methods are taught in different classes.

    Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/15/2016

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