6 Different Types of Delivery Methods You Must Know

8 min read

Written by Suma rp

Suma rp

5 different type of delivery methods you must know

When you conceive, you are bound to hear a lot of details about the pregnancy itself, the morning sickness, weight gain, baby kicks, health issues, and more. Not everyone talks about D-day – your delivery. Did you know there are more than 2 types of delivery methods when it comes to delivering your baby? Many women go into the labor ward to deliver their child without knowing the type of delivery method to opt for. 

The most commonly spoken about methods are vaginal delivery or cesarean delivery. There are more options when you want to deliver your baby. This article covers 6 different types of delivery methods you must know about, to make an informed choice.

In This Article

Video of Different Types of Labor and Childbirth Methods

List of 6 Different Types of Delivery Methods

Contrary to popular belief, you can choose the type of delivery method you want to follow. Everyone mentions vaginal or natural birth to be the best method to deliver a baby. Did you know you have 5 options when it comes to vaginal birth alone? Come, let’s learn about the different types of  delivery methods.

1. Natural Birth

natural birth

This is the most commonly spoken about and sought-after method of delivery. It is natural and the recovery time is faster. In this method, the baby is born through your vagina. As painful as it may sound, it is the most recommended method, even by doctors.

A natural delivery can be split into three stages – labor, delivery of the baby, and delivery of the placenta. In this method, you can recover faster, reduce the chances of infection for both mother and baby, and is also the safest method for both mother and baby.

In a natural birth, you have the following options

a) Water Birth

Many women choose to give birth in water. In this method, a birth pool is filled with warm water. You will get into the water and the lower half of your body will remain in the water. Either the entire labor and delivery or part labor and delivery will happen in this birth pool.

Water birth can

  • Reduce the pain and complications related to delivery.
  • Regulate the intensity of your contractions by adjusting the hormone levels during delivery.
  • Offer buoyancy, which can reduce the pressure of contractions.
  • Reduce vaginal tears.

[Read : Water Birth – Benefits And Risks]

b) Lamaze Technique

In this method of childbirth, you will learn various coping mechanisms to confidently go through the delivery process. Lamaze is a breathing technique that can help you relax. As a result, your anxiety, heart rate, and perception of pain will all reduce.

When you opt for this type of delivery 

  • Your doctor will wait for your labor to start on its own and won’t induce it
  • You will receive ample support from your loved one or midwife
  • You can get into whichever position is comfortable for you to give birth in
  • There is no necessity for medications or treatments
  • You can enjoy skin-to-skin contact with your baby soon after delivery

c) Hypnobirthing

If you want to reduce the delivery pain, you can try hypnobirthing. It is a pain management technique that uses deep breathing, relaxation, and visualization techniques. In your hypnobirthing class, you will learn

  • To visualize your baby’s birth
  • To meditate and focus on your body and labor rather than getting distracted
  • Breathe in a controlled manner, which can help reduce the pain during labor and keep you calm.

Hypnobirthing is more to do with your mind. So, the experience will vary from person to person. It may work well for one and not so well for another.

2. Vaginal Birth 

Vaginal birth - Types Of Delivery Methods

Vaginal birth is also natural birth. But here, you may sometimes need medication to induce your contractions and ripen your cervix. Along with that, doctors may recommend a membrane sweep if you have been in the labor for a long time without any progress in cervical dilation. 

In this kind of birth, you have a choice to choose pain medications like epidurals. They can help in pain management during the delivery. Doctors will keep an eye on you and put you on medication if they see the need. 

Here are the two major types of vaginal births you must know. 

a) Induced Vaginal Delivery

In an induced vaginal delivery, the doctor will use drugs or techniques to induce your labor. If you have any medical conditions or are past your due date, the doctor will induce labor by ripening your cervix for delivery.

[Read : Induced Labor : Why, What and How]

b) Natural Vaginal Delivery

This is the most natural method to deliver a baby. The contractions start on their own at around 39 – 40 weeks. A baby is declared full-term once they complete 37 weeks. So, you can expect your contractions to start any time after that. If everything progresses as expected, the doctor will not interfere in the delivery process and let it happen as naturally as possible.

Vaginal birth like natural birth reduces the chances of complications in you and the baby to a greater extent and the recovery will be faster. 

[Read : Vaginal Delivery]

3. Assisted Vaginal Birth

forceps - Types Of Delivery Methods

Even if you are delivering through your vagina, sometimes you might need some extra help to deliver the baby. Your midwife or doctor will assist your delivery with tools or equipment to ensure the baby is delivered safely and sound.

This is completely unplanned and is usually a decision taken by your doctor in the final stages of delivery. they will assist only if you are unable to deliver the baby yourself, or if they feel you or the baby might be in danger. The tools used in assisted vaginal birth delivery methods may cause minor injuries to babies.

a) Forceps

Forceps are long surgical tools that look like tongs. When the baby is unable to come out through the vagina on their own, the doctor will use the forceps to gently grab and pull the baby out.

b) Vacuum

In Vacuum assisted birth method, the doctor will use a small suction cup on the baby’s head, to help pull the baby out of the vagina. The suction cup is attached to a pump that will gently pull your baby as you push them out.

c) Ventouse

Also known as vacuum extraction, this method is used in the second stage of labor. If the baby is unable to progress down the birth canal, your doctor might use this method, provided the baby is not in a breech position or premature.

4. C-Section

C -section

In a C-section delivery, your obstetrician will deliver your baby by making surgical incisions in your abdomen and uterus.
Cesarean delivery is often associated with complications.

While it is not as safe as a vaginal delivery and has the risk of infections, blood loss, and injury to the bowel or bladder, and takes more time to recover, it is not a bad choice. It can reduce the risk of oxygen deprivation for the baby, reduce the trauma of the baby passing through the vagina, and also ensure the safe delivery of the baby in case of complications.

A C-section delivery can be either planned or unplanned like a vaginal delivery.

a) Planned C-Section

You can plan to deliver your baby through a planned C-section delivery if you

  • Had previously delivered via C-section
  • Are suffering from placenta previa
  • Are carrying more than one baby
  • Have a breech baby
  • Your baby is large
  • Have obstructions like uterine fibroids

b) Unplanned C-section

Sometimes, your labor plan changes. You may have to deliver your baby through an unplanned C-section if

  • The baby is in distress
  • Your labor is not progressing as expected
  • You are hemorrhaging or bleeding excessively
  • The umbilical cord prolapses
  • You have placental abruption

[Read : Emergency C-Sections]

5. VBAC (Vaginal Birth After C-Section)

Vaginal Birth After C-Section VBAC

There is a common misconception that once you deliver via a C-section, your following deliveries will be cesarean births as well. You can deliver your baby vaginally after a previous cesarean delivery.

However, not all doctors agree to this birth plan. So, if you are keen on a VBAC, it is important to discuss it with your doctor and choose a doctor who is experienced in such deliveries. The reason why many women or doctors don’t opt for a VBAC is the risk of a uterine rupture.

It is common knowledge that labor can put a lot of pressure on your uterus, especially when you are pushing your baby out. In a VBAC, there is a risk of your C-section scar opening up. This can happen if the pressure is too much, your baby is bigger or the incision was not done the ideal way.

You can opt for a VBAC, provided

  • Your cesarean incision is low and transverse
  • You don’t have any other scars or abnormalities in your uterus
  • You didn’t suffer a uterine rupture

6. Lotus Birth

lotus birth baby with placenta

This is a not-so-common delivery method that is gaining a lot of awareness in recent times. In a lotus birth, you will deliver your baby and not cut the umbilical cord from the placenta.

Lotus birth is a vaginal birth. So, you will deliver the baby and the placenta. However, after delivering your baby, the umbilical cord will stay attached to the placenta. You will deliver the placenta and it will remain attached to your baby until it dries off. 

In most cases, women opt for this method, for spiritual reasons. Some people believe cutting off the umbilical cord soon after birth will prevent the baby from getting all the blood that is still in the cord from mother to baby. Once your placenta comes out of your womb, it will not have any blood supply which increases the risks of infections for your baby. 

Delivering a baby can be both a stressful and an exciting time. If you know how you want to deliver your baby, you can mentally be ready to face the demands of the delivery. However, when it comes to the delivery of a child, one cannot predict if you will deliver only as per the birthing plan. Hence, it is important to understand the types of delivery methods you may be offered and be prepared for what’s coming. 


1. Can Hypnobirthing Reduce Labor Pains?

Hypnobirthing is a technique that aims to reduce labor pains and make the entire labor a smooth process.

2. Can I Have a Vaginal Delivery After a Cesarean Delivery?

Yes, you can have a VBAC provided you qualify for it and your doctor agrees.

3. Why is Lotus Birth Not Very Common?

Lotus birth carries the risk of infection, jaundice, sepsis, and hepatitis. It is also very complicated to keep the placenta attached to the baby while carrying or feeding the baby.

Read Also: Is It Possible To Have Natural Delivery With Gestational Diabetes?

Suma rp,M.Sc (Organic Chemistry) Rayalaseema University B.Sc (Biotechnology) Sri Krishna Devaraya University.

Suma is a passionate content writer with a strong keenness to understand the miracle of pregnancy, birth, and parenting. Suma has successfully transitioned into a full-time content writer and a key contributor at Being The Parent. She leverages on her experimental background in chemistry and experience in writing to come up with well-researched content that helps parents struggling to deal with various medical conditions of their children.Read more.

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