I Don't Want a C-Section.

How do I prevent a cesarean? This may be the hardest question I am asked in a childbirth class.  Without fail someone always asks that question.  The answer is almost unanswerable.  Being in the United States makes it an even more complicated question.  The average birthing mother can bank on a few solid tactics to help ensure she avoids the operating room:

Stay active in labor. Birth is a physiological process and movement helps. There are very few times when, given the choice, a mammal will hold still during labor. Whatever you can do to stay comfortable and moving is in your, and your labor's, best interest.

Do not induce labor. Letting labor start on its own helps to ensure your body is on-board with the game plan.  The World Health Organization (W.H.O) believes 10% of births benefit from induction, when medically necessary.  If it is not medically necessary, forego the urge to induce early.

Hire a doula. This is such an easy answer to this not so easy question. Statistically, hiring a doula will reduce your likelihood of needing a cesarean.  Hiring a doula is not a gamble but it will improve your odds.  This is so much the case that ACOG (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) in March of 2014 published a paper calling for increased use of this underutilized proved way to reduce cesareans.

What to prevent a cesarean? Hire a doula.