As a pregnant woman, the most significant decision of your life is how you will deliver your baby. Baby delivery is the most challenging yet rewarding experience for every mother, especially first-time mothers. To understand better what you must prefer and the upsides and downsides of each baby delivery method, explore the vaginal vs. C-section in detail.  

When Vaginal Birth Preferred?

Vaginal birth is a natural and safest delivery phenomenon that can exhaust a mother through constant labor pains. But it is worth the sweat and pain as the mother and baby feel more connected. Doctors prefer a straightforward delivery option for mothers with no medical complications or whose health issues can be controlled during delivery. Mothers who are willing to go through the labor choose vaginal birth. A natural birth method is preferable for first pregnancies; about 2 out of 3 babies are born through vaginal delivery in the united states. 

When is a c-section preferred?

Cesarean is a complicated medical procedure that involves surgery on the abdomen. Doctors recommend a cesarean when the mother schedules to deliver twins or multiples or suffers from health issues such as blood pressure, diabetes, HIV, and genital herpes. You may decide on an elective c-section to plan the timing of the delivery. Moreover, a c-section is a safe delivery option for mothers who had complicated vaginal delivery in the past. It becomes an inevitable delivery option when the baby is very large, the mother’s pelvis is small, or the baby is not in a normal position. As a result, many childbirth injuries can occur; as a mother, you can visit to understand the further conditions causing birth injuries in babies.  Doctors may decide to do an emergency c-section in case of unexpected complications at the time of labor, causing damage to the health of the mother and child. They may recommend cesarean when labor is slow or not making progress. Or the mother is facing other medical complications such as placenta abruption, placenta previa, prolapsed umbilical cord, and maternal hemorrhage. 

What are the advantages of a vaginal birth?

 The most common benefit of the natural birth method is minimal bleeding. In addition, mothers do not go through with the post-surgery complications such as long-enduring pain, scarring, and infections. The discharge time and healing period are also short in vaginal birth. Most often, doctors discharge mothers within 24-48 hours from hospitals. In the case of straightforward delivery, you can resume normal duties faster than c-section delivery. Vaginal delivery inculcates a strong bond between mother and child. During labor pain, the mother feels more connected to the baby and the whole birth experience. In addition, after birth, through natural phenomena, you can easily start breastfeeding the child. Skin-to-skin contact between mother and child safeguards the baby from infections and increases immunity levels. If you’re planning to have a large family, vaginal birth is a more suitable option. This delivery method generally entails fewer complications for both mother and baby. 

 What are the disadvantages of a vaginal birth?

One common downside of vaginal birth is the grueling task of pushing and severe and prolonged labor periods. It varies in deliveries and may range from 8 to 18 hours for first-time mothers. No doubt, labor contractions are an unbearable and painful experience. Vaginal birth is associated with several health issues. It may cause pain in the perineum, causing discomfort while urinating, or in severe situations, a perineum tear. In some cases, vaginal skin and tissues stretch and tear, leading to injured pelvic muscles. As a result, mothers may experience uncontrolled urine function, such as incontinence or leaking during cough, laughing, or sneezing. 

What are the advantages of a planned c-section?

A planned c-section is quick and undergoes as expected. Mother is usually awake during the procedure, and the lower part of her body is under anesthesia, causing it to be numb. On average, a c-section takes 15 minutes for delivery and 45 minutes for stitching. C-section saves mothers from developing health issues related to urine and bowel. Women have fewer chances of suffering from pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence. Convenience is the major factor influencing the mothers’ decisions to adopt a c-section for delivery. It allows you to select delivery dates according to your choice, reducing the chances of emergency birth. In the past, doctors did not allow mothers to have contact with their babies immediately after a c-section. But now, they encourage mother-baby contact to ensure the baby receives the correct microbiome. 

 What are the disadvantages of a c-section?

Although c-sections are safe and convenient, they do involve some risks. Mothers who give birth through c-sections usually stay longer in hospitals and take a prolonged period for healing. On average, a mother needs six weeks to heal after having a c-section. However, its duration varies in women depending upon several factors. Cesarean is a surgical procedure that entails blood loss, clots, incisions, and infections. The healing period for the scar takes up nearly two months. You also have to wait for a year to have the next baby after having a baby delivered through a c-section. Mothers may face trouble while breastfeeding their babies after a c-section. Pain caused by incisions can make it harder for you to change position. Research also indicated a relationship between c-section babies and health issues such as obesity, allergies, and breathing problems that develop in later stages of life. However, it is not scientifically proven and accepted by all researchers. Moreover, the effects of planned and emergency c-sections also vary on the health of babies.  One-time c-section means having further c-sections; mothers who deliver babies through cesarean cannot choose a normal delivery option in the future. It limits the chances of vaginal delivery in the future.

Final thoughts 

A c-section is preferable to vaginal birth; however, it depends on your preferences and the doctor’s recommendations. No matter what delivery method you choose, always consult a health expert. Discuss the prospect and challenges associated with your delivery with your gynecologist. In any case, the safety and health of mother and child are the priorities.