Last weekend I met a newly married girl who started discussing motherhood with me and how scared she was about it. During the conversation she asked me, “What delivery did I have?” and when I said a C section, her instant reaction was “Don’t they say a normal one is better?” Hmmm.. better? Who has decided what is better? When a mother conceives and delivers, her only aim in life is the wellbeing of her baby.
Giving birth is the biggest moment for a woman and a healthy and safe delivery is all that she wants. Sometimes the mother does not have a choice and sometimes things do not go as planned. I always wanted a normal delivery as that was something everybody said was the best, but I had to deliver at 34 weeks as the baby stopped movement. It was a c sec. For all those who have read the birthing story of our guest blogger, Noor Anand Chawla, would know how she had to go through a c sec after 18 hours of painful labour. We both did not choose it but did not get a choice. I am sure there are many mothers around who would agree.
A normal delivery is always recommended and is preferred by doctors worldwide but a c sec is needed when there are complications. I remember when I resisted having a c sec my doctor said, this is about you and your baby and not the way we bring him/her in the world. When I think back, I feel this is so true. Normal or c sec; the baby should be fine. Yes, like everything has its own pros and cons, so do both the kinds of deliveries. Let us take a look at both to understand each better.
The normal delivery is also known as vaginal delivery. It is a safe and the most preferred way. After all, this was the natural way to deliver till medical sciences evolved. This delivery is natural and does not involve any surgery and thus, reduces the chances of a medical complication. Many women cannot opt for a normal delivery due to complications in pregnancy or infections or the position of the baby or is delivering more than one baby.
Pros and Cons of a Normal Delivery
- This is the natural way and thus, the baby and the body prepare for it and progresses towards it naturally.
- The hospital stay is less and usually the mom can go back home next day with the baby
- The baby is less likely to develop complications and can be immediately be given to mother for skin to skin
- The body is ready to produce breast milk and feeding becomes easier
- The amniotic fluid from the baby’s lungs gets squeezed out when it passes through the vaginal opening thus, reducing any breathing issues at the time of birth.
- The baby’s immune system gets strong as they ingest some good bacteria
- No anaesthesia and surgery ensure the recovery is quicker and easier
- There is no time that can be predicted of the mom going in labour and thus, the labour becomes stressful.
- When the baby comes out of the vaginal canal there can be injury and vaginal tearing due to stretching or the pelvic muscles can become weak
- In some cases bowel movements and bladder control become a problem and it can take up to a year to recover
- There can be pain post-delivery and sex might become difficult.
- Sometimes forceps have to be used to pull the baby out and thus, it can be a trauma and the baby can get hurt too.
The caesarean or the c sec is the surgical way of bringing the baby out. An incision is made through the abdomen and uterus and the baby is pulled out. C secs have become more popular and also some hospitals use it to make money. Many women prefer a c sec or sometimes have no choice, but trust me, they do not choose the easier way out. (Read My post, C-Section-I Did Not Choose the Easy Way Out).
- The anxiety and stress levels are less as the woman usually gets time to be mentally prepared
- As the baby does not pass through the birth canal, it is less trauma for the baby and there are less chances of urine and bowel problems
- Sometimes it important for the well-being of the baby and ensures a safer way to deliver
- The hospital stay becomes longer
- The recovery might be longer for the mother and more painful due to the incision
- The baby can develop some complications like breathing etc.
- The baby might not be able to get immediate skin to skin contact
If you are pregnant, it is important to know about both deliveries and their pros and cons. It is also important to have a birthing plan, but never be very rigid about it. Get your massages and take precautions if you have a c sec (Read my posts on, Tips to Recover After a C Section and Post Natal Massage). A good doctor will be able to manage the pain and help in quick recovery and of course, it is about your will power. Things can go wrong when they have to and we are helpless.
Going by the so called norms, I had a c section, I delivered a preemie baby, I did not give immediate skin to skin, was not able to breastfeed; basically everything was wrong. But I have no regrets. My baby was safe and touchwood is a happy and healthy two year old now. I gave birth to my angel and she is the most beautiful gift of God and it does not matter how she came to me as her safety and well-being is all that I wanted and guess, will always be. As mothers, we always choose the best for our baby. Always remember, “Birth is amazing, no matter how it happens”.