You should not take this decision lightly because whether you choose to have a natural birth or cesarean section it is important that you know all the consequences of your decision to be sure that you are making the right decision for both you and your baby.

There are only two ways in which a mother can give birth. The first one is evidently the natural childbirth or normal delivery that we all know and the second is the cesarean delivery that is getting stronger every time. Actually, every 1 of 3 births is through cesarean delivery.

Now let’s look at some of the criteria that are currently being used to perform a cesarean section instead of a natural birth:

  • In case of having twins or more.
  • In case of having a medical condition such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
  • In case of having an infection like HIV or genital herpes.
  • In case of presenting problems with the placenta.
  • In case of having a very large baby and a small pelvis.
  • In case of having the baby in opposite position before giving birth.
  • In case of endangering the life of the mother or baby.
  • In case the pregnant woman requests it.

In case you didn’t know, cesarean section is basically a surgery where the abdomen of the pregnant woman is opened and the baby in the uterus (womb) is removed.

Natural birth or cesarean section

Now comes the most interesting part for you because we will see the benefits and disadvantages of each of the births. Also, in the end, I will be giving my recommendations regarding pregnancy and delivery.

Benefits of natural birth

The first benefit is that the average hospitalization for natural birth is 1 to 2 days while a cesarean section is usually 2 to 4 days. That is, you leave the hospital much faster and there are even mothers who leave the hospital hours later of giving birth.

The second great benefit is that you avoid all the problems and risks involved in surgery, among which is excessive bleeding, scarring, infections, problems with anesthesia and prolonged pain.

The third benefit is early contact with the baby because by not having surgery the mother recovers faster and can start the breastfeeding process much sooner which is ideal for the baby.

The fourth benefit is that with the natural birth several muscles of the mother help to press out liquids in the lungs of the baby. In this way, any respiratory problem is avoided.

The fifth benefit is that with the natural birth, the baby has to go through the birth canal which is covered with a variety of bacteria from the mother and those bacteria are the ones that strengthen the baby’s immune system and also help create his own set of bacteria in his gut.

In case you didn’t know these bacteria are the ones that strengthen our body, help our mood, help us digest food, kill pathogens, provide us with nutrients and many other benefits. So these bacteria are fundamental for the baby because they will define their health.

Here you can find more information about the role of those bacteria in our body: [Strengthens the defenses of a newborn baby].

Disadvantages of a natural birth

The main disadvantage is that there is a small risk where the skin and tissues around the vagina will stretch and tear. If there is an excessive effort during birth then it can be severe and stitches might be needed which will weaken the muscles that control urine and bowel movement. Although this probability is very small. It should also be noted that the recovery is faster than cesarean section.

The second disadvantage of natural childbirth is that there is a probability related to the previous one where mothers have problems controlling urine when they cough, sneeze or laugh (i.e. lol).

The third disadvantage is that women may present a slight pain in the perineum, which is the area between the vagina and the anus. This pain is due to the effort made in natural childbirth which usually has a rapid recovery.

The fourth disadvantage is that there is a possibility that the baby may also be injured by the effort of birth itself where the baby may have a bruised scalp or a broken clavicle. Although it should be noted that these cases are very rare and almost never occur.

Benefits of cesarean section

There are not a lot of advantages to having a C-section.

— Dr. Allison Bryant, a maternal-fetal medicine specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

The only benefit is that you can pre-schedule the birth.

Disadvantages of cesarean section

The first disadvantage is that c-section require an average hospitalization of 2 to 4 days, which is double than natural birth.

The second disadvantage is that after giving birth the mothers usually present more problems such as pain, infection in the wound and even prolonged discomfort.

The third disadvantage is that the surgery itself produces an increase in blood loss and a higher risk of infection in the mother.

The fourth disadvantage is that during the surgery the intestines and the bladder can be affected. You can even form blood clots.

The fifth disadvantage is that the mother’s first-contact with the baby for breastfeeding usually takes much longer.

The sixth disadvantage is that the period of recovery usually takes an average of two months because the c-section affects the skin of the abdomen and nearby nerves, so the scar takes time to heal.

The seventh disadvantage is something very alarming and is that women who have a c-section tripled their probability of dying at the time of giving birth. These deaths are usually due to blood clots, infections and complications from anesthesia.

The eighth disadvantage is that mothers who have a c-section are more likely to have another c-section on the next pregnancy. They also have an increased risk of abnormalities in the placenta and uterine rupture which is when the uterus breaks following the previous c-section scar. These problems get worse after each cesarean section.

The ninth disadvantage is that the baby born by c-section is more likely to have respiratory problems at birth and even in childhood. For example, asthma. It also increases the likelihood of the baby being born dead (stillbirth).

The tenth disadvantage is that there is a probability that the baby will also be nicked at the time of surgery.

The last disadvantage that I’m going to add is a very serious one for the health of the newborn. Having a c-section doesn’t allow the baby to have its first contact with healthy bacteria which has a great impact on the health of the baby for several years. One of the consequences is the predisposition to certain diseases like obesity, cancer (childhood leukemia), diabetes, etc.

Recommendation to give birth

As you may have noticed there are many disadvantages to having a cesarean section so it’s very irresponsible to do a c-section without having a good justification which leads me to give you my next recommendation which is to have the mindset of a natural birth all the way long. In the end, if there are major complications you can use c-section as the last resource but only think about natural birth because it’s most likely that you will give birth naturally without complications.

Not for nothing 2 out of 3 women have a natural birth and only 1 out of 3 choose a cesarean section. What worries me is that most women who choose c-section is because they want it and not because it’s needed.

The only reason why I could recommend a cesarean delivery is when the life of the mother or the baby’s life are in imminent danger. Which also means that you have to understand that the baby born by cesarean section is at a disadvantage and you should be very careful with their health.

In summary, your mindset should be to have a natural birth and with the help of God, you will have a successful natural birth without any complications.

If you have questions do not hesitate to contact me. I hope this information will help you make the best decision for you and your baby. By the way, Congratulations on your baby!

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See you in the next post. Tschüss!

 

Sources

  • Vaginal Birth vs. C-Section: Pros & Cons | Cari Nierenberg | LiveScience | 2018.03.26 | [Link]
  • Breastfeeding after cesarean delivery: a systematic review and meta-analysis of world literature | Prior E, Santhakumaran S, Gale C, Philipps LH, Modi N, Hyde MJ | Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 May;95(5):1113-35 | [Link]
  • Cesarean Delivery and Risk of Infant Leukemia: A Report from the Children’s Oncology Group. | Marcotte EL, Richardson MR, Roesler MA, Spector LG | Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2018 Apr;27(4):473-478 | [Link]
  • Postpartum maternal mortality and cesarean delivery | Deneux-Tharaux C, Carmona E, Bouvier-Colle MH, Bréart G | Obstet Gynecol. 2006 Sep;108(3 Pt 1):541-8 | [Link]
  • Breastfeeding after cesarean delivery: a systematic review and meta-analysis of world literature | Prior E, Santhakumaran S, Gale C, Philipps LH, Modi N, Hyde MJ | Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 May;95(5):1113-35 | [Link]
  • Births – Method of Delivery | CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | [Link]