We continue to monitor COVID-19, flu and other respiratory viruses in our communities. Read the most current information about prevention, testing and where to go if you're sick.

COVID-19 Information
Select the search type
  • Site
  • Web

Types of Birth

At Alton Memorial Hospital we hope to give you the birthing experience you want. Mothers today are offered a variety of birth types to choose from. Discuss with your provider to see what the best option for you might be. 

Vaginal Birth

While a vaginal birth experience can be different for everyone there are a few things you can expect during your childbirth. They are three stages of a vaginal birth:

  • Labor – this is when you start to experience contractions. While in labor, you may experience periodic physical exams to see how far along you are. As you get closer to giving birth, your contractions get stronger, happen closer together, and last longer.
  • Pushing and delivery – when you’re fully dilated, you’re ready to start pushing your baby through the birth canal.
  • Delivery of the placenta – after your baby is born, you’ll deliver the baby’s placenta next. Your provider will examine the placenta as well as your uterus to make sure everything is fine.

Our Alton Memorial Hospital Childbirth Center team has been recognized for promoting vaginal births and reducing cesarean sections for the low-risk patients by the Illinois Perinatal Quality Collaborative.

Natural Births or Pain Relief Medication for a Vaginal Delivery?

Most women decide in advance whether to have an epidural, or to experience labor naturally without pain medication. Whatever you decide our team is here to help you. 

If you would like a natural birth, one without an epidural, we will support you and try to make you as comfortable as possible during your labor and birth experience.   

If you choose to have an epidural, we’ll administer it when you’re ready. This can be at any point during your labor. Our certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) are on site and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Scheduled C-Section Birth

Many women deliver their baby or babies by cesarean section, or more commonly known as a C-section. A C-section is a surgical delivery of a baby through incisions in the abdomen and uterus. If your Ob/Gyn thinks this is necessary, the procedure will be scheduled in advanced of your due date. The American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that scheduled cesarean sections not be performed before 39 weeks gestation, unless medically indicated.

There are many reasons why you might need a C-section, some most common reasons include:

  • Known medical condition, including preeclampsia or heart disease
  • Infection
  • Your baby’s health, size or positioning
  • You are carrying more than one baby
  • You had a C-section before

Unplanned or Emergency C-Section Birth

Sometimes, circumstances of labor and delivery change, and C-section birth becomes necessary for the health and safety of mom and/or baby. If your birth must switch to a C-section, your physician and health care team will explain why this is and help you prepare for the procedure.

If you already had an epidural for labor, it can be dosed more heavily to keep you comfortable. If you have not, an anesthesia provider will tell you about pain management options. In the event of an emergency, the decision may be made to use general anesthesia to ‘put you to sleep.’ While not very common, rest assured, we’re prepared to handle any emergencies. 

Vaginal Birth After C-Section or Trial of Labor After C-section

If you’ve had a previous C-Section, you have the option of proceeding with either a trial of labor after C-section (TOLAC) or a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) or a planned repeat C-section with your next pregnancy. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has recommended VBAC as a safe and appropriate choice for many women. However, it is not the right option for everyone. If interested, you should consult with your obstetrician early in your pregnancy to determine if VBAC is an appropriate option for you.

To be considered for a VBAC, you should meet the following criteria:

  • Have undergone only one prior low transverse uterine incision (C-section) with no other uterine incisions
  • Currently experiencing a healthy and problem-free pregnancy. More importantly, the reason your previous child was delivered by C-section is not a factor with this pregnancy.
  • It is preferable that labor begins naturally on or before your due date
Find a doctor or make an appointment: 618.463.7220 or 800.392.0936
General Information: 618.463.7311
Alton Memorial Hospital
One Memorial Drive
Alton, Illinois 62002

Copyright © 1997-2024 BJC HealthCare. All Rights Reserved.