Are C-Sections Inevitable When Delivering Multiples?
It’s true that many multiple births are delivered by c-section, but every pregnancy is different. In fact, the best form of delivery for twins and multiples has become a point of debate among experts.
In some cases, if the babies are in the correct position, it is actually possible to deliver multiples vaginally. In fact, according to Lancaster Health, 50 percent of all twin pregnancies are delivered vaginally. In 30 percent of twin pregnancies, one baby is in the proper position for delivery and the second baby is breech—meaning their feet are down and head is positioned up. It’s possible that your doctor will attempt a vaginal delivery for both, although according to a 2012 study, providers often prefer c-section in these cases, despite data suggesting similar outcomes for the babies in the hands of experienced professionals. If both infants are in the breech position, or if your doctors think the labor is too difficult, chances are you’ll have to undergo a c-section.
If you have a strong preference for a vaginal birth, it’s best to talk to your doctor about this in advance so your wishes can be taken into consideration when it comes to delivery day.
Keep in mind that while there is a possibility of delivering vaginally with twins, that option becomes much less likely with triplets, quads or pregnancies involving even more babies, since, according to Lancaster General Health, these are considered high-risk pregnancies.
Obstetrics and Gynecology (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists), Trends in Cesarean Delivery for Twin Births in the United States, November 2011
Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health, Giving Birth to Multiples, 2022
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