Natural Birth Vs. C-Sections: Which One Should You Opt For?

There is no doctor in the world who would recommend C-section to a woman who has an uncomplicated pregnancy but having said that, C-sections are essential when there are clear indications that having a vaginal birth could be potentially risky for either mum or baby. A C-section is often advised if the woman is expecting twins, there are risks related to placenta, the mother has had gestational diabetes or high BP during pregnancy, she has had C-section in the past and vaginal birth might lead to complications, etc. With C-sections on the rise, let us look at why more women should opt for a vaginal delivery as long as their health permits.

The Advantages Of A Natural Birth:

  1. Both mother and baby can undergo a natural, intervention free birth that contributes significantly to the general well-being of the mother after delivery, easier recovery and immediate nursing sessions with baby.
  1. There are lesser chances of an infection after vaginal birth as the mother is not exposed to surgical equipments. However, if there is an episiotomy1 involved, she may need to take antibiotics to heal well. Natural tears generally heal by themselves if proper care is taken.
  1. Natural birth feels more real and although labour pains might make you scream and cry out in pain, your recovery will be easier and less painful.
  1. This also means lesser time at the hospital and homecoming will be the one thing to look forward to. The baby will also benefit more since lesser hospital stays mean more skin-to-skin with the mother.
  1. The advantages to the baby cannot be highlighted enough. Babies born vaginally are exposed to a good amount of vaginal bacteria that aids in the development of a supportive immune system. The fluid in their lungs is also squeezed out by the muscles at work that leads to lesser breathing problems after birth.
  1. A vaginal birth also means immediate breastfeeding and skin-to-skin contact with the mother that allows the baby to make the most of the golden hour after birth.

When Are C-Sections Essential?

Vaginal births are undoubtedly more beneficial but there are situations in which C-section is inevitable and there are ways to make healing easier.

Listed Below Are Some Of The Common Reasons:

  1. If the baby is in distress, has passed meconium2 or is not getting enough oxygen
  2. Mother has high BP and is not doing too well in labour.
  3. Labour is progressing slowly and both the mother and baby are tired of the birthing process.
  4. Baby’s heartbeat slows down.
  5. Baby’s head is not engaged despite continuous efforts
  6. The mother has a smaller pelvis and the baby is bigger in size.
  7. Other medical conditions of the mother like HIV or herpes.

Natural birth is the ideal way to deliver a baby but if there is a need for a C-section, efforts should be taken to allow the mother to breastfeed immediately after birth and to make her recovery easier and safer. Whichever way of birthing is being taken up, the mother should be able to make an informed choice in any given situation.

References:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Episiotomy
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meconium