Vaginal Birth Vs C-Section: A Guide For Expectant Mothers

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When you’re considering pregnancy, you would also have to give extensive thought to the process of birth or delivery of the baby. The final selection depends on the nature of the pregnancy, the position of the fetus, and the condition of the mother’s body. 

If you don’t have major complications, you can choose the procedure but in case of a medical emergency, the doctor would make the final decision. The two types of methods are natural or vaginal delivery or cesarean delivery, popularly known as C-section. 

If you’ve been wondering about the difference between C-section and vaginal birth or the risks associated with them, you’re at the right place. 

We’re going to give a basic overview of both the processes, that you’re well informed before it’s time for you to finally make a call. 

Also, read: Guide To Baby’s Positions During Pregnancy

Vaginal birth vs C-section: Difference between C-Section and Vaginal birth 

Natural birth or vaginal delivery is often done without the help or intervention of medication. However, in some cases, medicines are required to relieve the pain. 

This involves the delivery of the baby through the vaginal walls. Ideally, the head of the baby is pulled out first. 

If this doesn’t happen and the legs come out first, the condition is known as breech birth and the baby may or may not have breathing or respiratory conditions, later in life. 

Certain widely used forms of medical intervention are: 

  • Episiotomy – This is a surgical cut for the smooth passage of the baby’s head through the vaginal walls, without injuring or tearing the skin. 
  • Vacuum Extraction – In this process, a vacuum is used by doctors for the successful delivery of the baby. The head of the baby is pulled out using a low intensity of vacuum, ensuring fast and effective delivery. 
  • Pitocin – This helps inducing labor, kick-starting the delivery process. 
  • Amniotomy – Due to complications, the mother’s amniotic membranes are often artificially broken in this way. This is commonly known as artificial water breakage. 

Cesarean delivery or C-section is an operation or a surgery. Delivery is done by operating when the mother is not in a position to give birth to the baby, naturally or doesn’t want to. 

There can be several factors determining a C-section, such as: 

  1. The presence of more than one baby 
  2. The duration of labor isn’t appropriate 
  3. Issues with the placenta 
  4. Complications with the health of the baby 
  5. Breech birth 
  6. Chronic conditions of the mother, like diabetes or high blood pressure 
  7. When the baby is large and involves risks of vaginal injury 

Vaginal birth vs C-section: Risk of C-section and Vaginal delivery 

The aspect of threats and risks are common to vaginal deliveries as well as C-sections. In the case of natural birth, there are risks of vaginal injury and perineal tears. People who require episiotomy need a longer time to heal due to the stitches that they get. 

Organ prolapse and bladder control are other conditions that can likely be faced by women who give birth, naturally. 

On the other hand, a constant threat to C-section surgeries is the scope of infections and blood loss. Injuries of the bladder and bowel are also common causes of surgeries. The anesthesia should be properly done before the operation is conducted. 

What is more painful? C-Section or Natural birth 

Many people believe that natural births are more painful and strenuous than C-section deliveries. However, this may not be entirely true. 

The C-section indeed appears to be quite easy but not all is as simple as they look. C-section births involve long durations of healing time, due to the stitches that are done.

 On the other hand, the recovery time of natural births is minimal, since the process is natural and the mother becomes steady in no time unless there are complications. 

While the head of the baby is pushed out of the vagina, the pain is immense but it’s a safer process and involves lower risks, as compared to C-section. The baby’s health also poses minimum risks in the case of a natural delivery. 

Related: How Painful Is Childbirth?

C-section or Natural birth: Procedure of C-Section vs Natural birth 

The process of a vaginal birth happens naturally and involves the dilation of the mother’s cervix. The baby is pushed down to the opening of the vagina through uterine contractions. 

These contractions are way worse than menstrual cramps and the pain caused is often unbearable. It’s no surprise that vaginal birth is one of the most painful processes that a woman goes through, in her life. The duration of labor and delivery is about 12-14 hours. 

A C-Section surgery usually takes up to 45 minutes and the mother’s lower body is numbed by a spinal block or epidural is given to lessen pain. The mother is usually awake while the baby is being born. Incisions are made in the walls of the uterus and abdomen. 

Pain isn’t felt as much as in the case of a vaginal birth but while the baby is taken out, pressure is felt. 

Conclusion

While it’s your choice whether you want to go for the process of natural delivery or a C-section if you don’t have complications, you should remember the pros and cons of both. 

If you’re not comfortable opting for vaginal delivery, go for C-section but in most cases, the hesitation is uncalled for. The female body is designed for the natural procedure and as scary as it may seem, you’re capable of pushing out a baby through your vaginal opening.

 Discussions regarding vaginal birth vs C-section are going to continue for a long time but none can be deemed more appropriate than the other, owing to different characteristics and diverse needs of different individuals. 

Now that you have a basic overview of both, you would have a clearer vision of what would be best for you. 

Also, read: Yes, I Am A Caesarian Mum! You Do Not Have Any Right To Judge Me!!

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