Giving birth to a baby is a wonderful experience. Some choose a cesarean section while others prefer the traditional way (vaginal delivery). But which is preferable?
Choosing between having a cesarean section or giving birth vaginally is a common question among pregnant women. Some choose traditional methods and give birth vaginally. Others, however, prefer to have several variables under control and therefore choose a cesarean section.
Vaginal birth is a natural process. However, many women try to avoid this because of fear of the pain or because it can cause damage to the vagina. From a functional perspective, the cesarean section is fantastic. It is often better for medical reasons to protect the life of the mother and baby.
However, there is much more to consider regarding whether to have a cesarean section or give birth vaginally.
Choosing between cesarean section or vaginal delivery
Babies are born every day, either by cesarean section or vaginal birth and the decision is up to the parents and the obstetrician. The latter will mostly be present at birth, and will therefore be responsible for determining the best method for each situation.
This decision can also be changed at the last minute when the birth begins. The most common reason is that a risky birth occurs. The doctor can therefore quickly perform a cesarean section.
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The difference between cesarean section and vaginal delivery
The main difference between natural birth and a cesarean section is that the latter is a surgical method that lasts between 20 and 30 minutes. If it has been planned, it should be performed after 39 weeks, unless your doctor has indicated otherwise.
Cesarean section or vaginal delivery: Physical differences
“Which is less painful: cesarean section or natural birth?”
This is a common issue among first-time mothers. During surgery, the vagina will not dilate, unlike when using a vaginal delivery method. This type of pain therefore does not occur during the cesarean section.
This procedure is usually performed with a type of anesthesia that creates a sensory and motor blockade of the lower part of the body. At the same time, however, the mother continues to be awake. The effect lasts between an hour and an hour and a half. For 24-48 hours afterward, the pain is controlled with intravenous painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs.
The pain is more controlled during the cesarean section, but there may be some pain after the procedure as the woman is recovering.
The baby’s immune system
Before birth, the babies are practically sterile – without viruses and bacteria. However, certain bacteria are required for the organs to function properly. When the baby is born vaginally, it gets healthy bacteria from the mother.
If a cesarean section is performed, the baby will not get these bacteria. The child will only get them from the environment and the people around it, and eventually also from the mother. Unfortunately, most of these foreign bacteria are unknown to the baby’s immune system.
The intestinal flora of children born vaginally differs from those born by cesarean section. The latter group has a lower amount of cells related to immune factors. This, therefore, increases the risk of them suffering from diseases such as type-1 diabetes, Crohn’s disease, and severe allergies.
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After a cesarean section or natural birth, women need to rest a lot for their bodies to be able to recover. Therefore, it must not do any housework. If they do not have other children, they should be careful not to run out of themselves.
The postpartum period is one of the most difficult times for mothers and their families. This stage is also much more confusing for women who have undergone a cesarean section. In both cases, the mother should get enough rest and avoid lifting anything heavy.
When it comes to vaginal birth, the pain is temporary. With the cesarean section, on the other hand, it will take several days and even weeks to heal. If you are to be able to perform the cesarean section, you must perform surgery and the woman will then have two scars – both an outer and an inner scar.
Since a cesarean section is a surgical process, the medical costs will be higher. In addition to the obstetrician and the pediatrician who delivers the baby, you need a whole team of specialists and nurses who are trained to handle everything that may arise – this can be especially good to keep track of if you give birth abroad.
The cesarean section is also performed in a fully equipped surgical room. The natural birth, on the other hand, takes place in a room that is equipped to deliver the baby in the usual way. Vaginal birth also does not require anesthesia. If there are no complications, the mother will not need antibiotics or intravenous medication.
Why and when to choose a cesarean section or vaginal birth
Many people are unsure whether to choose a cesarean section or vaginal birth for their baby. The latter is usually safer for the mother and baby, but there are times when it is necessary to perform a cesarean section.
Advantages and disadvantages of a cesarean section
- When anesthesia is injected into the abdomen, there will be an almost completely painless birth with a cesarean section.
- The child’s birthday can also be scheduled depending on what the parents prefer.
- The surgery lasts only three to four hours, including preparation time and recovery.
- It is a surgery with anesthesia and all surgical procedures carry risks of infection and damage to other organs.
- The recovery time can be at least one to two months.
- New mothers often find it difficult to get up and go during the first week. It requires a lot of support from family and friends.
- Among the many side effects of the anesthesia, nausea, dizziness, and vomiting occur during the days after the cesarean section.
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Advantages and disadvantages of vaginal birth Benefits
- There is a lower risk of damage to the kidneys and a lower risk of blood loss and infections than with a cesarean section.
- Blood pressure remains more stable.
- The oxygen supply to the baby and the placenta is better than during the cesarean section.
- When the baby is born, it is more alert for the senses to be stimulated as it passes through the vaginal canal.
- The mother’s body secretes oxytocin, which promotes milk production and the bond between mother and baby.
- There is a risk of incontinence after birth.
- The vaginal birth is spontaneous, unlike the cesarean section.
- There is a risk that the vagina may tear open. There is also a possibility that the doctor will perform an episiotomy.
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If you have not yet decided whether to have a cesarean section or vaginal birth, you can discuss this with the obstetrician or midwife. This person has your medical record and knows about the baby’s development in the womb. In some cases, a cesarean section is recommended if the baby is upside down or not in the correct position to get out of the uterus.
Women older than 35 are at greater risk for complications during natural childbirth, so in some cases, they should have a cesarean section. They will then be supervised by a specialized medical team.
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Conclusion if you should have a cesarean section or give birth vaginally
Mothers who choose to give birth vaginally are more aware of what is happening around them and will get a more complete idea of the baby’s arrival. They can also see and have the little one in their arms as soon as it is born.
However, there are many reasons why a woman chooses a cesarean section. In any case, it is important to be aware that every pregnant woman has different needs. The final decision must therefore be carefully considered with the help of advice from the obstetrician.