For a vaginal delivery, the actual delivery of the baby and placenta (not including the laboring process) takes anywhere from a few minutes to an hour. A Cesarean delivery usually takes between 30 and 60 minutes. The part that takes the longest in a Cesarean delivery is not the birth of the baby—that is performed rather quickly. Stitching closed the skin and muscle layers after the baby is born takes the most time.
Different Birthing Positions
Other birth positions are acceptable besides lying on your back with your feet in stirrups. You may not have to use stirrups, or you may deliver lying on your side or squatting, if you make arrangements to do this.
Whether your doctor uses forceps to aid in the delivery of your baby depends on the situation at the time. Factors involved include the size of the baby, the size of your pelvis, how well you are able to push and whether your baby needs to be delivered immediately.
Forceps look like two metal hands and are used to protect the baby's head during delivery. They are not used as much today as they were in the past. Instead, physicians more often use a vacuum extractor or perform a Cesarean section.
A vacuum extractor is a plastic cup that fits on the baby's head by suction. When you push during labor, your doctor is able to pull and help to deliver the baby more easily.
This is perhaps the most popular childbirth method. Classes are widely available.
Videotaping the Birth
I often hear from a patient that her partner wants to videotape the birth, but she doesn't want him to. You may be in the same situation and wonder if you are being unreasonable. No, you're not. The birth process is very private for many women, and they don't want to be videotaped or photographed or forced to share it with others. If this is your wish, explain it to your partner. He should respect your wishes. If he won't listen, discuss it with your doctor. Ask him or her to explain your objections to your partner. It would also be a wise idea to check on the hospital's policy regarding videotaping.