Types of childbirth

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In Kenya, the rate of cesarean deliveries (c-sections) in the urban areas is 2.69 per cent; this is according to a World Health Organization (WHO) report.

Women in urban areas, who choose to have c-sections other than giving birth naturally, usually do so for other reasons that are not medical such as avoiding the pain that is accompanied with natural births. “I chose c-section, because I am so sure I would not have been able to endure the pain of giving birth naturally,” says Julie Karimi, a mother of a seven month old baby. “I talked to most of my friends beforehand and the stories they told me about natural births was enough to scare me off into opting for a c-section.”

Lucy Muchiri, a mid wife, said that c-sections have a higher risk to the mother compared to natural births, “it is a major surgery, so you find it takes place mostly in private hospitals because they have the capacity to handle it rather than in government hospitals where there is limited equipment. They are also more expensive.”

For natural births, there are also alternatives such as; medicated births and non medicated births. “Medicated births are whereby a drug such as epidural is administered in order to reduce labour pains,” said Lucy. “There are no complications or surgeries; the woman still gives birth naturally but in less pain. A non-medicated birth, no drug is administered.”

Another type of natural birth; is water births, this is where by the birth takes place in a mass of water. “It is non medicated because it would be impossible to have medical tubes in water and there also no interventions,” said Lucy, “the woman is using natural resources, water, to reduce her labour pain.

“The advantage of this type of birth is that the new born has a happy landing, the warm water, when it is born and there is buoyancy.” Hospitals such as Birth Centre in Kilimani, where Lucy is operates and Aga Khan Hospital offer the services.

The other is out of hospital births, whereby a woman gives birth at the comfort of her home with the help of a midwife. “This is purely non-interventional and non-medicated; I would also say the most comfortable birth because a woman can take their time in giving birth and let her body do what it needs to do without the constriction of time, unlike in a hospital.”

For more information you can contact Lucy on 0717616160

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