Birthing options

Vaginal Birth

Vaginal birth is the most common way of delivering a child and is the most desired by women. It is our goal to have the highest successful vaginal birth rate possible. Vaginal birth usually results in a shorter hospital stay and recovery time than cesarean sections; however, both vaginal and C-section methods are proven to be successful procedures. We can help you plan your vaginal birth and we’ll be there at every moment to get you and your baby back home as safely and soon as possible. We also offer vaginal birth after cesarean section (VBAC). We will help you decide if this is an appropriate choice for you.

Cesarean Birth

A cesarean section (C-section) is an operation that is performed to deliver a baby through an abdominal incision. There are many reasons why a woman has a C-section. Some of these reasons are known in advance of your delivery date, but most are not encountered until labor. At AGO we offer a family-centered C-section tailored to your wishes. To learn more about
family-centered C-sections, watch Dr. Mandeville talk more about this option below. 

Pain in labor

Unfortunately, pain is an inevitable part of labor and delivery. Adequate pain relief is an integral part of a safe delivery. There are many ways to control or decrease the pain of labor and delivery.

Natural Techniques


  • Slow, focused breathing and muscle relaxation during each contraction
  • Relaxing music, massage, water therapy, and change in positions may all be helpful
  • Childbirth classes and a birthing support person such as a doula can help to learn and utilize relaxation techniques



  • Warm water (hydrotherapy) is a way to reduce the pains of labor
  • Warm water allows the brain to secrete substances called endorphins, the body’s natural pain reliever. Endorphins may enhance a mother’s ability to control pain
  • Our hospital has laboring showers with bench seats or tubs available upon request

IV Pain Medication

IV pain medicine can provide a woman with a reduction in pain and anxiety:

  • Usually used in early labor
  • Often allows women to rest between contractions
  • Although it can be an effective form of relief, it may not be appropriate if there are any concerns about the mother’s or baby’s condition
  • It may not be appropriate for mothers who are close to delivering, as it can make the baby sleepy at birth


  • An epidural is a very safe form of regional anesthesia that can numb the muscles that feel the most pain in labor
  • After being administered by an anesthesiologist, the epidural takes about 10-20 minutes to take effect
  • Once in place and working, a pump can be used to continue the pain relief for the remainder of the labor. At this point, the mother has limited movement of lower limbs and usually stays confined to the bed
  • The pump can be adjusted so that the sensation to push is maintained when the time comes
  • The epidural usually wears off about one hour after the epidural catheter is removed after delivery
  • Most often an epidural can be given in labor if desired. There are some rare circumstances where it may not be given:
          – If a woman comes to the hospital ready to deliver, there may not be enough time to administer the epidural
          – If a woman has a medical condition where an epidural is contraindicated