Vaginal birth or Caesarian?

  • #16 Small Talk 2019

Caesarian birth -photo credit: flikr.com

vaginal birth – photo credit: wikimedia.com

Which is the one for you?

Over the last 10 years or so the number of elective
C-sections has increased rather dramatically. The reasons for a woman deciding
on a C-section rather than letting nature take its course are varied. Some just
cannot face the thought of going through the painful labour. Others want to be
in control of the date their baby will be born. Of course, sometimes it is
necessary for medical reasons to undergo a caesarean birth even if the mom to
be was desperate to have a natural birth.

In this blog I just want to touch on the possible benefits
and disadvantages of having a vaginal birth compared to that of a C-section so
that YOU, the mom-to-be, can make an informed decision on which is best for
you.

Benefits of a vaginal birth vs elective C-section

  • A vaginal birth is much easier on your body than
    a C-section
  • Labour and vaginal births are better for the
    baby than a Caesar
  • Breathing difficulties and infection are less
    likely to occur with vaginal births than with a C-section
  • Childhood diseases such as asthma occur less in
    children born vaginally
  • There is less risk of Type 1 diabetes, allergies
    children born vaginally and they are less likely to become obese as adults

Researchers believe that the benefits of a vaginal birth are
brought about by the babies being exposed to healthy bacteria during the birth.
But what are some of the disadvantages of a vaginal birth and how do they
compare to those of a C-section?

Disadvantages of a vaginal birth

The following can occur with vaginal births but not with
caesareans

  • The vulva and vagina can be injured during the
    birth and this may lead to pain and infection
  • The dreaded episiotomy – that tear which may
    occur naturally or intentionally (by the doctor) from the opening of the vagina
    towards the anus. This can obviously be painful and infection can also occur.
    Totally avoid with a C-section!

Whilst those disadvantages may make a C-section a better
option, let’s first take a look at the disadvantages of having a caesarean
birth

Possible outcomes to the mom of a C-section

  • For the first 2 months after the birth, you may
    experience impaired physical health
  • An emergency hysterectomy may be necessary in
    some cases
  • Difficulty in establishing breast feeding may
    occur
  • You may have difficulty in becoming pregnant
    should you wish to have a second child
  • The risk of subsequent miscarriages is higher in
    women who have had a C-section
  • You may experience ongoing pain in your pelvic
    area

Possible risks of C-section to the baby

  • Babies born by C-section have greater difficulty
    in establishing breast feeding
  • Breathing problems are more likely to occur
  • Babies get less iron and blood flowing from the
    placenta is reduced
  • Chronic diseases like Type 1 diabetes, childhood
    obesity, allergies, asthma, autism spectrum disorder and hay fever are more
    likely to occur in babies born by caesarean section.

Conclusion

It seems to me that the only advantage in choosing to have a
C-section is for you to avoid the pain of labour. Let’s not mince words here –
labour is hard and it is painful. Some lucky women have a short labour of only
an hour or two, some aren’t so lucky and can go for quite a few hours. But pain
relief is available – you could opt for an epidural, for instance. If one looks
logically at all the disadvantages involved in having a Caesarean how can one
justify choosing to have one when the risks to both the mom and baby are
increased dramatically?

So, moms-to-be, think long and hard about the reason you may
prefer the option of an elective C-section over having a vaginal birth.
Personally, I think that caesarean sections should be reserved for emergencies
or when there is a risk to either the baby or the mom to allow a natural birth.

Yours in lifestyle newborn photography

Lydia

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