Dr (Mrs) Smriti Sparsh talking about the choice between normal vaginal birth or C-Section. People often don’t talk about the delivery conditions whether it is normal or the luxury of choice. The Doctor has explained everything about both delivery conditions. She also clears a few points that a doctor needs to make when any women give birth to a child.
Important Steps in Choosing the Best Delivery Option for You and Your Baby
- Create a birthing plan that clearly states your wishes and expectations during delivery. Include a Plan A option that reflects your most ideal scenario and also include a Plan B that would be referred to only if your Plan A is not possible.
- Interview your prospective obstetrician, doula, or midwife. Don’t be afraid to ask difficult questions such as their experience with vaginal and Cesarean deliveries and their percentages and success rates of both. If your caretaker reports a significantly higher percentage of Cesarean deliveries, can he or she give you a valid reason why?
What is normal vaginal delivery?
Normal vaginal birth is the childbirth process which takes place without any form of medical intervention. Nowadays to alleviate the pain and speed up the delivery process medications might be used (you can choose not to opt for any medical intervention).
All in all, a normal delivery is, in other words, a completely natural delivery of a baby by the mother without any medical intervention.
During normal/vaginal delivery the primary focus is on how and in which position will the mother be comfortable delivering the baby. The mother can lead the whole process of labor and delivery.
The doctor and attending nurses, aid her while being alert for any kind of emergencies.
What are the stages of normal vaginal delivery?
There are three major stages you will undergo during normal childbirth:
- Labour and effacement of the cervix
- Pushing & birth of the baby
- Delivering the placenta
Pros of Normal Vaginal Deliveries
- Shorter hospital stay (usually 2 or 3 days.)
- Quicker recovery (often just a few days to a week.)
- Avoidance of inherent risks of surgery such as blood loss, scarring, infections, complications with anesthesia or pain medications.
- Helps to remove or squeeze fluid from baby’s lungs as she journeys through the birth canal.
- Baby accesses beneficial bacteria found in the birth canal that supports immunity.
- More immediate contact between mother and baby.
- Quicker initiation of breastfeeding.
Cons of Normal Vaginal Deliveries
- Longer, more physically demanding delivery.
- Possible vaginal stretching or tearing that may sometimes be alleviated by an episiotomy or stitches.
- Possible weakening of pelvic muscles.
- Possible lingering complications with bowel or urinary incontinence.
- Sore perineum (usually just a few days.)
Cesarean delivery is a surgical procedure in which a transverse (horizontal) or vertical incision is made through the abdominal wall upon which the abdominal muscles are separated in order to make a second incision into the wall of the uterus. The baby is then extracted through the uterine wall, the umbilical cord is cut, and the placenta is removed, after which the uterus and abdominal wall are closed with stitches.
Reasons for Cesarean Deliveries
- Multiple births such as twins or triplets
- Failure for labor to progress
- Fetal distress in which it is deemed unsafe to deliver vaginally
- Baby is too large to be delivered vaginally
- Previous Cesarean birth
- Baby is in a breech or transverse position
- Complications of the placenta
- Complications of the umbilical cord
- Mother has an infection or STD that poses threat to baby if delivered vaginally
- Cesarean is elected by mother
Pros of C-Sections
- Convenience – Cesareans can be scheduled in advance.
- In cases where there is a danger posed to mother or baby due to a medical condition, Cesareans are often safer than vaginal deliveries.
Cons of C-Sections
- Longer hospital stays.
- Higher risk for complications.
- Increased risk of pain at an incision site.
- Weakened abdominal muscles.
- Increased risk of blood loss or blood clots.
- Longer recovery (up to two months in some cases.)
- Less likely that the mother/baby pair will begin early breastfeeding.
- Increase in risk of death in comparison to vaginal deliveries.
- Increase in the necessity of subsequent C-Sections.
- Higher risk of complications in future pregnancies.
- Increased risk of problems involving the placenta, especially in subsequent pregnancies.
- Increase in infant breathing issues that extend into childhood, such as asthma.
- The increased possibility that the baby will need to be admitted to NICU (Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit) once she’s been delivered.
- Increased risk of stillbirth.
- Increased risk of the necessity of Cesarean deliveries in future pregnancies.
- Risk of re-hospitalization.