Many expecting moms want to avoid having to go through a cesarean, or C-section, when giving birth. If you’re one of those women, check out the 10 easy steps to lower your risk for a cesarean, listed below.

10 Easy Steps to Lower Your Risk for a Cesarean:

1. Take a Childbirth Class

To start our list of 10 easy steps to lower your risk for a cesarean, we recommend a birth class. In addition to teaching you about the birthing process, and helping you gain confidence in your own body’s ability to have a baby, these courses often touch upon how to avoid a c-section, according to American Pregnancy Association.

2. Interview a Number of Care Providers

When making your decisions, including touring different birthing facilities and discussing birth plans, inquire about intervention statistics. Ask if they have protocols in place to reduce cesarean rates. All providers know their cesarean and other intervention rates.

3. Hire a Doula

This pro can help support you through labor, and doula support during labor is associated with a 50% decrease in ending with a cesarean. There are many doula agencies, as well as independent doulas that practice actively around the country.

4. Read, Read, Read!

We don’t mean those scary “What to expect….” books. Do your own research into what can be done to reduce the risks of C-sections. This is another one of the simplest of the 10 easy steps to lower your risk for a cesarean.

5. Avoid Elective Labor Inductions

By elective, we mean not medically necessary, or not for a medical reason. All women are miserable in the last couple weeks of pregnancy, but they need to remember that 40% of labor inductions end in cesarean sections, whether medically necessary or not.

6. Avoid Being Restricted to Laboring in Bed

It is scientifically proven that lithotomy position (laying on your back) is the worst position to labor in.

7. Know What to do During a Breech

If your baby is in a breech position, see a chiropractor and talk about methods to help turn the baby. There are a lot of resources that can help you get your baby into optimal position for birth. Spinning Babies is a great website. Also, find a chiropractor certified in the Webster Technique, which has an up to 86% success rate of getting babies in optimal position for birth.

8. Avoid Routine Ultrasounds Late in Pregnancy

Often, ultrasound measurements in the last few weeks of pregnancy can be up to 20% inaccurate, which can be up to two full pounds in either direction.

9. Tackle Early Labor Like a Pro

In early labor, do light activities in the daytime, and rest at night or sleep, if possible.

10. Have Faith in the Process of Birth

Have faith, too, in your body and baby. You CAN give birth!

There you have it: 10 easy steps to lower your risk for a cesarean. However, it doesn’t mean that you definitely won’t have a C-section when it’s time to have your baby. There are medical reasons for having this procedure. Be sure to talk to your health care provider about policies and procedures if a cesarean does become necessary.

 

Love this article? Concerned about childbirth? You’re not alone. Read this! The Fear of Childbirth Isn’t Just About Pain, Says New Study

 

Adapted from: Flamm, B. 1998. Reducing Cesarean Section Rates Safely: Lessons from a “Breakthrough Series” Collaborative, Birth: Issues in Perinatal Care 25(2):117-124.

Image courtesy of arztsamui / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Danielle A. Elwood is a Connecticut native, born and raised on the Connecticut shoreline in the Lordship community of Stratford. The Wife of a Veteran Marine, and mother of two small boys, Camden and Benjamin, she works heavily in the pregnancy and birth community, as well as the local shoreline parenting community, all while active as the head of a local nonprofit organization called ICAN, which provides support for mothers who have had cesarean section births. She is a doula by trait and hopes to become a midwife some day. For now she wants to help reach as many mothers as she can through ICAN and education. You can follow Danielle on Twitter @BirthBabiesBlog