Lifestyle / Family

Ruwaida Moola
4 minute read
3 Mar 2020
10:20 am

What type of birth do you want?

Ruwaida Moola

Our resident midwife, Ruwaida Moola, explains the various birthing options available.

The type of birth that one may have depends on the facility and the care provider that the expectant parents choose. These births can take place in various institutes and could vary between a home birth, a birth unit, maternity home, private or provincial hospitals.

The resources that are available at these facilities may influence the choice of your Birth. When choosing your birthing center it is advisable to view the center, familiarise yourself with it and also find out what is available at these centers. The same applies when choosing a care provider. Some care providers may only be comfortable with one specific method of delivery limiting the client’s birth choices.

During a vaginal birth the following types of birth may take place:

  1. Bed birth

Gynaecologists and obstetricians generally prefer mums to births on beds. In hospitals, especially in provincial hospitals due to limited space to mobilize, the expectant mums are confined to the bed and the baby is born on the bed in a semi fowler or lying position. This has its advantage if mums are very tired or assistance is needed during the birth.

Bed births are still one of the most common types of births that there is. Some may call it a ‘dry land birth’.

Birth positions may vary on the bed. One may try a squatting position, lying down or on ‘all fours’ for this method of vaginal birth.

2.Vacuum extractions

A vacuum extraction is used when assistance is needed during the birth. A suction cup is placed on a baby’s head during the birth and this is used to assist in the delivery of the baby’s head during the pushing stages. Vacuum extractions are done to expedite the birth generally when there is maternal exhaustion or prolonged pushing.

An assisted birth can be done by an advanced midwife, gynaecologist, and obstetrician.

3.Water births 

Water is generally used during labour as an excellent natural pain relief method. A water birth takes place when the mum utilizes a bath or birth pool by sitting in water during birth. The water is at body temperature. Salt is added to the water aiding as a mild antiseptic in the prevention of infection and preserving the natural microbiomes. During birth, the pushing takes place whilst the expectant mum is sitting in the bath. The water covers the expectant mum from the breast down. The baby is birthed under water facilitating a smooth transition and then is gently brought out of the water and placed on the mum’s chest. This is said to be a gentler entry into the world. A water birth can only take place in low-risk expectant mums. A water birth cannot take place if the baby has passed meconium in utero, there are any signs of foetal distress or if the mum has had an epidural. This type of birth can take place at home, in any birthing unit that has water birth facilities or a place to set up a birth pool.

Some doctors do water births however this is generally done by a midwife.

C- section

This method of birth is done in a hospital theatre under sterile conditions.

An elective c-section is planned in advance and is generally done when there are multiple pregnancies, a previous caesarean, or a high-risk pregnancy.

An emergency caesarean section is done when there is a fetal or maternal emergency.

These are generally done under spinal anesthesia. General anesthesia is no longer advised as this may pass to the baby during the procedure

According to the world health organisation, all expectant moms should be seen by a gynaecologist/obstetrician twice during pregnancy.

Expectant parents need to explore all their options and empower themselves.

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.


Ruwaida Moola has been practising midwifery since 1999, working in various hospitals and clinics. She currently practices midwifery with Genesis as her main birthing clinic. She has practising rights at Garden City Clinic, Oxford Rd Day Clinic, Brenthurst Clinic and Parklane Hospital and utilizes these hospitals as the emergency back-up hospitals.

She works closely with Obstetricians, Doulas, Chiropractors, Homeopaths, Herbalists, Reflexologists, Acupuncturists, Psychologists, and Paediatricians and believes in a multi-disciplinary approach. I also practice as a senior fertility sister at the BioART Fertility Clinic. She is a Registered Nurse and Fertility Nursing Sister, Nurse Educator and Advanced Midwife.

Find Ruwaida at www.miraclebirths.co.za.