Different Types of Birth

Midwife Julie explains the three different ways you might give birth – normal birth, assisted delivery and caesarean section.


  • "You may have a normal, vaginal birth where labour starts by itself, it's spontaneous and the progress in labour is ongoing and you have your baby naturally without any medical intervention at all.
    You may have an assisted vaginal birth, which mimics normal birth but with the use of equipment to help you and your baby.
  • A ventouse delivery is where the doctor will place what looks like a suction cup on the top of the baby’s head and as you push the baby out the doctor will gently pull which assists the birth of the baby. This is usually done on the labour ward and sometimes you might find there is a slight swelling on the baby’s head but this settles fairly quickly.
  • Another type of assisted vaginal birth would be a forceps delivery and again this will happen on a labour ward and a doctor will be involved. The doctor will use smooth metal spoon shaped instruments to attach to the baby’s head and as you push, the doctor will gently pull.  Occasionally a baby may be left with some slight swelling on its head, maybe a little mark or a bruise to its face but this will settle really quickly.
  • You may have a caesarean delivery, which is an operation where the doctors will make a cut in your abdomen and the uterus and your baby is lifted out and born in that way. There are two types of caesarean section:
  • One is called an elective caesarean section where it’s planned in advance
  • Another is an emergency caesarean section and it’s done because it’s deemed to be the safest way to deliver your baby. Either way, its major surgery and often happens because there’s a medical need to do so."