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Types of Baby Delivery During Pregnancy: From Vaginal Delivery to Bradley Method, Here are the 7 Types of Childbirth


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Childbirth is a mix of emotions for the mother. From feelings of excitement to finally holding their baby to the sheer panic of delivering the baby, the entire period during childbirth is challenging to handle.

Ideally, the optimal type of baby delivery is discussed between the parents and the OBGYN seeing their case. Childbirth delivery can happen via natural methods or via assisted methods too. Also, the delivery locations can be at home, a hospital, or a birth center, depending on the comfort of the would-be mother.

This article will explore some of the baby delivery during pregnancy and the individual advantages and disadvantages of the procedures.

Also Read: Is Vaginal Birth Safe After Cesarean Delivery? New Research Says there is Over 20% Increased Chances of Perineal Tear

Is Childbirth a Painful Experience?

Childbirth and delivery are incredibly subjective experiences. Some mothers have smooth sailing through their delivery, while others struggle with the severe pain and discomfort until the actual delivery.

However, on a general outlook, almost every mother would say that childbirth is a painful experience on a general outlook. Some experiences are short-lived and manageable with medication. A mother has the complete autonomy to choose which delivery method would be optimal for them and their baby. But, if there are underlying complications, the doctor decides the best-suited route for the well-being of the mother and the child.

Also Read: Adequate Liquor in Pregnancy: Meaning, Normal Range of Amniotic Fluid Index (AFI), and more

What are the different types of childbirth?

Typically, there are two primary subsets of delivery of a baby. You have a natural childbirth, and then you have assisted childbirth. If we reel back to 75 years in history, natural childbirth at home was the only option available back then.

With modernization and advancements in medicine, more and more supportive procedures have come into being. This post will explore these individual procedures and their pros and cons.

1. Natural childbirth

Natural childbirth is the most common form of child delivery that involves an unrushed and supported procedure. It involves little to no invasive monitoring and relies on the mother’s instinct to give birth to their little ones.

Most women who opt for natural and unassisted childbirth have to undergo a series of birthing lessons to prepare themselves for what’s to come. These classes emphasize the different stages of labor, ways to combat the pain, how to handle the onslaught of contractions, and the relaxation techniques to calm down in a stressful situation.

This type of procedure is often a mother’s personal choice. It allows the would-be mother to be present throughout the delivery of their child without any medications or other types of invasive therapies.

Most pregnant women who opt for natural childbirth prefer a home birth or pool birthing. It eases the discomfort and allows a more comfortable delivery. The entire procedure is assisted by a midwife, who stays with the mother throughout the delivery and aftercare.

Advantages Disadvantages
It is an extremely powerful process for a mother. It is an extremely painful procedure.
It allows the mother and the baby to form a strong attachment right after birth, following skin-to-skin contact. It can lead to severe complications for the mother’s reproductive anatomy post-childbirth.
It enables the mother’s body to produce hormones that support immediate lactation after childbirth. It can cause vaginal tears and excessive bleeding in some cases.
It has a quicker recovery rate with lesser risks of visible scarring.  


The procedure is also often known as Vaginal delivery with no medication. This birth method establishes the development of the microbiome or bacterial environment for the baby, which ensures reduced risks of allergic reactions or respiratory complications in the newborn.

2. Lamaze Method

While we are on the topic of natural birth, another one worth mentioning is the Lamaze method. It is in line with natural childbirth and emphasizes the importance of controlled breathing techniques.

These techniques allow the mother to be more comfortable as the labor progresses. Using the Lamaze method allows the mother to relax and thereby reduce their perception of pain as they prepare for the delivery of their newborn.

The Lamaze method is typically discussed during birthing lessons. Besides breathing techniques, the procedure also prepares the mother for the upcoming challenges during childbirth. The method doesn’t rule out the use of medication as a whole but educates the would-be mother to keep their options open while making their birth plan. The technique emphasizes doing whatever is needed for the comfort of the mother and the safe delivery of the baby.

Advantages Disadvantages
It prepares the mother and their partner with reliable tools that support successful labor and natural delivery. It requires the couple to sign up for the classes ahead of time.
It reduces the feeling of feeling during labor.  
It is a cumulative technique that also educates couples about other childbirth basics.  


3. Bradley Method

Next up on the list of “natural” childbirth is the Bradley method. This one focuses on preparing the mother for childbirth, but instead of a professional, the procedure is coached by the partner. The technique requires an extensive birthing lesson, one that the couple has to take over 12 weeks.

During these classes, the mother and her partner are taught about preparing themselves for natural vaginal birth without medical interventions. Not just labor management and eventual delivery, the would-be mother and father also learn about the mother’s nutritional needs during the pregnancy, not just labor management and eventual delivery.

Advantages Disadvantages
It is ideal for preparing the parents for a natural vaginal birth. It is an extensive and challenging learning experience.
It helps the mothers tackle the perception of pain that comes with unmedicated childbirth.  
It teaches the couple about the ways to take care of their natural health during pregnancy and after the delivery of the child.  


4. Water Delivery

Water delivery can either be done at home in the bathtub, or it can be done in pool birthing centers with all the necessary equipment and safety precautions.

The water birth allows the mother to have a more relaxed natural birth in a tub filled with water. It assists the mother in having a more comfortable and less painful childbirth experience. It is also a lot more relaxing than the standard hospital natural birth.

If a mother is adamant about home delivery, birthing tubs can be arranged to support the natural water birth. Even some hospitals have a separate section for water birth to support a mother’s wishes for childbirth.

Advantages Disadvantages
It is a lot more relaxing and less painful experience for the mother. It can impose heightened risks of infections.
It allows the partner to get in the tub with the mother to support them through the delivery process. In the case of home birth, things can escalate negatively due to the lack of all safety precautions.

5. Caesarean Section (C-section)

With the natural birth methods out of the way, let us now focus on the assisted delivery methods. This is one of the most common childbirth methods that account for 1/3 of the births.

During a C-section, the surgeon makes a horizontal incision across the mother’s lower abdomen to successfully deliver the newborn baby. This procedure is often suggested in patients with underlying complications or mothers who aren’t physically fit to undergo a vaginal birth.

C-section is a common childbirth method if the pregnancy includes:

  • Delivery of twins or triplets
  • Breech or transverse positioning of the baby
  • Complications in the mother’s physical health

Besides that, a C-section is often suggested in terms of emergency following prepping for a vaginal birth. When a complication arises that puts the mother and the baby at risk, an immediate C-section is advised for both parties’ successful delivery and safety.

Advantages Disadvantages
It doesn’t involve any experience of pain during the delivery since the mother is under the influence of anesthesia. It requires the mother to stay in the hospital for up to 3 days post-delivery.
It can avert complications during childbirth and ensure the safer delivery of the baby. It involves a longer recovery period, especially due to the incision.
It is a safer delivery choice in complicated pregnancies.  


6. Forceps Delivery

Another common assisted delivery is Forceps-assisted delivery. The procedure is crucial if the fetus is breech or if the mother is too tired to push and deliver their baby.

It assists a vaginal birth when the baby doesn’t traverse through the birth canal smoothly. Such conditions can arise due to obstructions in the birth canal, or even the mother is exhausted throughout her labor.

The doctor uses specialized forceps and guides them through the birth canal to assist the successful delivery. The ends of the forceps are placed on the baby’s head and then guide them out of the birth canal.

Advantages Disadvantages
It assists vaginal birth when the mother is exhausted during the delivery. It can accidentally hurt the baby during childbirth.
It is ideal if the infant is breech.  


7. Vacuum Extraction

The last on the list is Vacuum extraction, another assistive procedure done during vaginal birth. It is a lot similar to Forceps delivery.

The procedure uses vacuum suction to guide the baby through the birth canal if they are stuck inside. The doctor inserts a vacuum pump through the vagina and into the mother’s birth canal and attaches the end of the vacuum cup into the top of the baby’s head.

Using the suction power and vacuum, the baby is guided out of the birth canal to support successful childbirth.

Advantages Disadvantages
It assists vaginal birth if any complications arise during labor and delivery. It can impose impacts on the child’s head during the delivery process.
It is ideal when the mother is exhausted to push their baby out during delivery.  


What is Vaginal birth after C-section (VBAC)?

Several mothers want to experience the natural discourse of childbirth. Women who have undergone C-section before and want to undergo a vaginal birth next can choose VBAC as a delivery option. However, it is considered unwise and a very risky procedure. Not every woman is an ideal candidate for the procedure.

Although not impossible, it is often very difficult for women with a C-section to experience a vaginal birth for their next child. Doctors don’t propose it as a primary choice.


Every birthing method has its set of benefits and downsides. As a couple, it is always crucial to sit down and discuss every possible scenario with your doctor before deciding the ideal childbirth method. The priority should always be the safety and optimal health of both the mother and the child during the delivery process. Discussing things with the doctor can always allow mothers to navigate this complicated process easily.


Somapika Dutta (B.Sc Physiology, Honours)
Somapikar holds Bachelors Degree in Physiology from University of Culcutta. She has 6+ years of experience writing in different niches, including health, tech and lifestyle. An animal enthusiast and a raging foodie, experiencing life - one day at a time.


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