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Things Women Should Know About C-Sections vs. Natural Birth

As an expectant mother, you may have an idea about what giving birth will feel like. You most definitely have some ideas and expectations for those moments. And you definitely have considered those precious first moments with your new baby.
Things Women Should Know About C-Sections vs. Natural Birth

You also likely have considered your preferred method of delivery - vaginal (natural) birth versus a Cesarean section (c-section). Many women feel strongly toward one option or the other. But what are differences in terms of risks and recovery? Before making a decision about your delivery experience, consider these things that women should know about c-sections vs. natural birth.

Things Women Should Know about C-Sections vs. Natural Birth


Deciding to choose one method or the other should be done with the guidance of your healthcare provider. There is great power in knowledge, however, so consider these factors before speaking with your doctor.

Both are Difficult


There are often arguments that having a c-section is “lazy” or “easier”. It may be easier in terms of the strain and impact on your reproductive organs, but c-section deliveries require more lengthy and extensive recovery.

The C-Section Debate


Some c-section births are elective, and others scheduled due to prior maternal health concerns. There is a common misconception, however, that c-sections are allowed simply out of convenience. That is not the case. The majority of c-sections performed are medically necessary or emergent.

Size Matters


One of the factors that your doctor will consider when planning for labor and delivery is the baby’s size. Babies that are large may not fit safely through the birth canal, which carries a risk of oxygen deprivation or asphyxia. In these cases, a c-section may be the safest alternative in order to ensure a healthy delivery.

Breastfeeding Differences


Breastfeeding is a beautiful, natural, and healthy part of being a new mom. If you delivery naturally and are able to immediately put your newborn to your breast, you have a better chance at successful latching immediately. After a c-section delivery, you may have to wait until you are in recovery in order to attempt feeding.
This is not to say that you cannot be successful at breastfeeding after a c-section. After a c-section, you may find it takes a bit more time to get into a feeding routine.

Both May Require Stitches


Some women prefer the idea of natural birth because it generally doesn’t require stitches. If all goes according to plan and the natural birth is uncomplicated, that may be true. However, many women find that they do require stitches after a natural birth, but they are located in the genital area. Depending on the size of the baby and your body frame, your doctor may have to cut the area around your vaginal opening in order to make more room for the baby. This is called an episiotomy.

Organ Prolapse Risk


The argument that natural birth has less risks than a c-section is somewhat misguided. They both have risks, those risks are just different. Consider, for example, organ prolapse - a very real risk after natural birth. Giving birth naturally is incredibly straining on your body. Some women find that after giving birth, their uterus, bladder, or other organs may actually fall against the cervix. This is incredibly painful, and often requires surgical intervention to re-secure the internal organs within the pelvic area.

Vaginal Birth after C-Section


Many women long to experience natural birth, but end up having a c-section instead. In later pregnancies, these women may attempt a vaginal birth after c-section, or VBAC. Doctors will most often allow women to try, but are prepared for the possibility that a c-section will be necessary.
Many VBAC attempts are unsuccessful due to scar tissue, maternal age, and changes in the body from previous pregnancies.

Knowledge is Power When Planning for Delivery


Most people have some idea or hope for how labor and delivery will happen. Aside from what we see in the media and in movies, giving birth is a very personal experience. Decisions about labor and delivery should only be made after you research your options and talk to your healthcare provider.
What works for one woman may not work for you, or may not be the safest option for you and your baby. When it comes to healthcare, knowledge is power. Research and educate yourself, and make informed decisions.

This post had been published by request. 

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