A vaginal delivery is the most common delivery method. The baby is delivered through the vagina. In the first stage, the cervix dilates as a result of progressive rhythmic uterine contractions. This stage is typically the longest of labor. The second stage of labor is the time between complete cervical dilation and delivery of the baby. This phase lasts minutes to hours. Healing time is less than after a cesarean delivery.
Cesarean delivery, also called C-section, is surgery to deliver a baby. A doctor delivers the baby through the mother’s abdomen. Most cesarean births result in healthy babies and mothers. But C-section is major surgery and carries risks. Healing also takes longer than with vaginal birth. Because most C-sections are unplanned learning about them is important for all women who are pregnant. Whether a C-section is planned or comes up during labor, it can be a positive birth experience.
When a woman has had one or two previous C-sections, the option to attempt a vaginal delivery, or VBAC, may be acceptable. Make this decision with your physician after discussing your history and potential risks and benefits of VBAC.