Every mother about to pop out her baby is scared, nervous, anxious and everything else about the birthing process. How would it go? When would the time come? How would my little one be delivered? And thus, starts the research about the birthing process. Normal vaginal delivery or a C-sec?
Almost all of us opt for the normal vaginal delivery process. There are a very few women who opt for the C-sec. C-sec sometimes is an option and sometimes the situation during the birthing process demands for it. But majority of us still prefer to go the natural way.
I am a mom of two. One was born via the normal vaginal delivery and the other through a C-sec. I have seen and experienced both sides of the coin. So here is a detailed review of both through my eyes. These are completely my personal experiences and of a few very close friends and family. I would be discussing each of them with their pros and cons.
So first let’s go the normal way.
Normal vaginal delivery: Baby is delivered vaginally. The doctor might have to do episiotomy to enlarge your birth canal. Episiotomy is a surgical cut made at the opening of the vagina during childbirth to aid a difficult delivery and prevent rupture of tissues. The mother has to wait until she goes into labor. Sometimes if the mother doesn’t go into labor, then it has to be induced. Let me tell you here, not necessary that the labor would be induced in the first attempt itself. It might take 2 to 3 attempts as well. Mothers can opt for epidural anaesthesia during this birthing process. Again, some people have this misconception that epidural anaesthesia would completely get rid of the pain. But its not so. It reduces the pain intensity by almost 60 to 70% but not completely. It gives you an analgesic effect and not an anaesthetic effect. Definitely your delivery would be less painful and smoother than if you don’t opt for it.
- You cannot plan your delivery date in advance. Like some people have this shubh din wala concept. I mean even if you plan, and the doctor induces labor, not necessary you will deliver on the selected date.
- Going through the labor and having a vaginal delivery is a long process that can be physically taxing for the mother.
- Also, with vaginal delivery there is always a risk of overstretching of the skin and tissues around the vagina, which may lead to weakness or injury to the pelvic floor muscles, which if severe might lead to incontinence in the long run.
- Your post-partum bleeding would be somewhere between 15 to 20 days.
- Your hospital stay will be minimal. Today you deliver, tomorrow evening or max day after you will be in the comfort of your home (0verall not more than 24 to 48 hours).
- It is a minimal invasive procedure. Why I say minimal? Because as mentioned earlier in case of some last-minute situations, you might get an episiotomy incision.
- Since any major surgery is avoided, so are its associated risks, like bleeding, scarring, infections and reactions to anaesthesia.
- Recovery is faster as compared to a C-sec.
- For the baby- the mother can have immediate contact with the baby and thus start breastfeeding immediately. Babies also receive an early dose of good bacteria while travelling through the birth canal which boosts their immune system and protects their intestinal tracts. It is also said that the muscles involved during this birthing process help to squeeze out the fluid from the baby’s lungs, making babies less likely to suffer from breathing problems at the time of birth. However, if the mom has had a long labor or if a big baby is delivered via this process then the baby is at a risk of birth injuries.
Coming back to my experience. My elder one was born via a normal vaginal delivery. Since I didn’t go into labor until my due date, the labor had to be induced. Not once but twice. I had also opted for epidural anaesthesia. But somehow the block didn’t work completely for me. As I could still feel the excruciating pain. Though I couldn’t feel the contractions. Which was a little better. Initially I was administered suppositories to induce the labor. But when that also didn’t work, I was given medications intravenously to start the contractions. All in all it took me 12 hours to go into labor and further 4 and a half hours to pop my daughter out. Since she was a big baby, the doctor had to perform an episiotomy on me. I was able to feed her immediately. And I was out of the hospital the next day. My post-partum bleeding lasted for around 2 weeks and I was doing my normal chores from the very next day.
Caesarean section ( C- sec): It is opted for in case of medical reasons like pregnancy induced hypertension, cord around the baby’s neck, previous C-sec, big baby, less amniotic fluid. It is done with a spinal block where the mother is either awake or under general anaesthesia. The baby is delivered via surgery. An incision of around 6 inches is made through the mother’s lower abdomen. The uterus is then opened with a second incision and the baby is delivered. The incisions are then stitched closed.
- There is always a high risk of blood loss during the procedure and infection as well.
- Breastfeeding might become difficult lying down until anaesthesia effect wears out completely.
- Your hospital stay would at least be of 7 days.
- They take longer to heal from, around 6 weeks.
- Your post delivery bleeding might be more than vaginal delivery.
- The mother is always at a risk of surgical site pain, infection and long-lasting soreness post-delivery.
- Because of the incision your tiny nerves and blood vessels are cut, thus you might not have any sensations around the incision area for a few months to come.
- Coming to the baby- it is said that babies born via a C-sec are at a higher risk of developing breathing problems like asthma at birth and even during childhood.
- You can pre plan your delivery date and time.
- Your entire delivery process would last for around 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- Pain free birthing process, and if it’s your second baby or you plan not to have anymore, you can get your tubes tied the same time (no second incision needed).
I delivered my second baby via a C-sec. Though we tried for a normal delivery for almost 2 days. Yes you read it right. We tried to induce labor twice plus almost 10 times of PV exams to check the cervical dilation. All of this I feel led to some sort of infection, due to which my baby and me both had tachycardia which couldn’t be controlled with medicines. And so we opted for the C-sec. And you know what the best part was? Yes, there is a good part. After going through all that for 2 days, the baby was out within 10 minutes via a C-sec. Yes. Had I opted for it earlier I wouldn’t have to go through all of that. However, my baby developed neonatal jaundice after 2 days (as he was a big baby). So, we had to stay at the hospital for a week. However, my post-partum recovery was same as when I had a previous normal delivery. I started my daily walks 3 weeks post-partum, I never had any back pain, nor any sort of pain or infection at the incision site. Though my post-partum bleeding lasted for almost a month, but it didn’t give me any extra trouble. I could easily carry my baby around. Also, I was able to do my housework with ease.
So, if you ask me, the post-partum recovery was more or less same for me both the times. Though taking into account the pain and duration of the birthing process I feel a C-sec was a better option. Its been 2.5 years after my c- sec delivery and I have never experienced any sort of back pain (which happens to be the common myth around c- sec), also as I said earlier, I was never bed- ridden post my c- sec. Neither during my hospital stay nor at home. I was doing my own chores as soon as I was back home and was back at the gym 3 weeks post-partum.
So, if you are someone who doesn’t want to go through all that pain of a normal vaginal delivery, DO NOT HESITATE TO TAKE THE C- SEC CALL. And yes, as some people might say otherwise C- SECTIONS ARE REAL BIRTHS TOO. A BABY POPPING OUT OF YOUR BODY IS A BIRTH. NO MATTER WHAT WAY. PERIOD!!!
That’s all for now
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