A child makes it’s way into this world either naturally i.e. through the vagina of her mother or by medical intervention a.k.a the C-section surgery. As a woman approaches the end of her pregnancy she becomes more and more worried anticipating about the childbirth and its outcomes. And the number one question that goes on in her mind is how the delivery method will affect her, her baby and her body.
For some women, the C-section is planned because of various complications that could arise if she wants to naturally go into labor. These include the baby being in breech position, baby weighing more than 9 pounds or other chronic conditions such as placenta previa, preeclampsia or diabetes. On the other hand, some women go for C-section by choice to escape the labor pains or any other personal issue. In other cases, when the C-section is unplanned and is done due to emergency reasons, the most likely reason is to protect the health of the mother or baby or both.
It has been debated for a long time which one has an edge above others but it turns out both have pros and cons associated with them.
The biggest boon of C-section is CONVENIENCE of delivering your baby. You don’t have to go through the daunting pain of labor or pushing.
Many women conclude that since childbirth is also an operation as it is done in the hospital it’s probably safer to get operated than deliver naturally.
For some women, the pain of labor and childbirth sparks emotional turmoil and anxiety which makes it impossible for the woman’s body to both mentally and physically go through natural delivery. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD can also result in psychological trauma in some mothers. This could lead to an elective C-section.
‘Women really needs to understand that C-section is a major abdominal surgery’
Risks in C-section surgery increases if you suffer from any medical condition like heart disease or had a previous surgery on your abdomen.
Hospital stay is extended by 2-3 days or more after a C-section. With vaginal delivery most of the bodily functions like bowel movements, bladder functions etc. get back to themselves on their own because the body is in a natural state of recovery. But with C-section, all the functions might need a little more time to come back to normal. C-section can also increase chances of infection at the scar tissue. And therefore, continuous monitoring, especially in the first 24 hours after the operation, is vital for the health of the mother. The nurse will also ask you to start walking. It will not be easy but it’s necessary to speed up the recovery, preventing blood clots in legs, preventing constipation and kicking off blood circulation in your body.
C-section increases mother’s chances of having a stillbirth by 14% and having an ectopic pregnancy by 9% in her subsequent pregnancy.(1) It also increases chances of placenta previa by about 1.5-6 times.(2)
Women who have a vaginal birth with any complications such as placenta previa, infections etc. are more likely to have it in their subsequent pregnancy but mothers who have had a previous C-section without any of these complications may increase their chances of having them anyway.
Women with C-section also take more time to return to their usual everyday routine which includes working, exercising or any household work.
One of the first benefits of going through Vaginal Birth includes less time in the hospital and a shorter recovery time. Another benefit also includes reducing any risks that are associated with the surgery/operation.
When babies pass through birth canal they are exposed to various types of bacteria including Lactobacillus which then becomes a major part of newborn’s intestine and helps in kicking off digestion. The contraction that the mother goes through also helps in expelling any amniotic fluid that is present in the baby’s lungs and thus, helps the baby’s respiratory system to function on its own for the very first time.
Hormonal changes that occur during labor helps the baby become more alert. This will enable him to connect with his mother and breastfeed in a better way. Endorphins or the feel-good hormones that are released makes the childbirth process comfortable for the baby and prepares him for the life outside the womb.
Perineum Pain can result from tears or episiotomy. The degree of pain a woman bears depends from woman to woman. Vaginal Birth puts the enormous pain on the perineal area ( the area between anus and vagina) and thus the pain that follows will not be easy to handle. To get relief from Perineum pain use PADSICLES. Padsicles are basically chilled pads that are soaked in witch hazel and aloe vera gel (optional), which provides instant relief from the pain and can even help in the healing process. You can prepare them before time by soaking some pads in alcohol-free witch hazel and then refrigerating them. Padsicles are also a great relief option for postpartum hemorrhoids.
Vaginal Tearing is extremely common in all the women who goes through natural birth and it’s not fun especially if you suffered from the third-degree vaginal tear. Your vagina will not look the same for at least 4-6 weeks during which the stitches dissolve. Sex is obviously off the table until you get a green signal from your Gynae.
The stretching that happens also weakens the pelvic floor muscle leading to urinary incontinence. Urinary Incontinence is when a persona passes small amounts of urine when he coughs, laughs etc. Kegels are highly recommended for women who suffer from Urinary Incontinence.
We hope this post answered most of your questions about how both methods of delivery affect you and your baby. Do not forget to share your experiences in the Comments Section below.