Babies can enter this world in one of two ways: either through a normal delivery /vaginal birth/ or a surgical delivery by Cesarean section. Mothers who have a better access for health care may sometimes prefer to give birth through C-section. In our country, some health professionals may encourage pregnant women to go for c-section without clearly communicating the pros and cons. So, when should be pregnant woman decide to have c-section delivery? What are the advantages and disadvantages of surgical delivery?
C-sections should be planned usually for medical reasons that make a normal delivery risky, if:
- The mother is expecting twins or multiples,
- If the mother has diabetes or high blood pressure, or an infection such as HIV,
- A C-Section may also be necessary in certain situations, such as delivering a very large baby in a mother with a small pelvis, or if the baby is not in a heads-down position,
- Sometimes a C-section may happen unplanned for emergency reasons if the health of the mother, the baby, or both of them is in danger during labor,
Disadvantages of C-section delivery
Although C-sections are generally considered safe and, in some situations life saving, they carry additional risks compared with a vaginal birth, such as:
- They are a major surgery and involve opening up a pregnant woman’s abdomen,
- It has a longer hospital stay and recovery time as compared with a normal delivery,
- It is associated with risks, such as severe bleeding, scarring, infections, reactions to anesthesia and more longer-lasting pain,
- A mother could not hold her baby and begin breastfeeding sooner after she delivers,
- C-sections in first-time mothers often lead to repeat C-sections in future pregnancies,
- The bowel or bladder can be injured during the operation or a blood clot may form
- Women who have had a C-section are less likely to begin early breastfeeding,
- Women are three times more likely to die during Caesarean delivery than a vaginal birth,
- Babies born by Caesarean section may be more likely to have breathing problems at birth and even during childhood, such as asthma. They may also be at greater risk for stillbirth.
****In general, giving birth vaginally feels like more of a natural experience. Regardless of how they decide to give birth, women should be as informed as possible about their childbirth options, so they can have a voice in the process.