Benefits & Risks of Vaginal Delivery vs. Cesarean Section

Childbirth which is also known as labor and delivery is the end of the pregnancy when one or more babies enter this world through one of the two ways: either by vaginal delivery or cesarean section (C-section). There are two methods by which a woman can give birth to a baby and these include:

  • vaginal birth
  • cesarean section (a surgical procedure)

The main goal of both of these delivery methods is the birth of a healthy baby in a safe manner.

As with any medical procedure, there are some benefits and risks involved and that should be considered when choosing the best option for you. So, there are some benefits and risks associated with these two childbirth methods. Take a look at them so you can be well-informed before deciding the right method of giving birth to your child.

 

What is a vaginal birth?

Vaginal delivery is the most common childbirth method. It is referred to as “normal delivery” as it carries very few risks to both the mother and the child than the cesarean birth. That is why; vaginal deliveries are the most preferred options for childbirth.

 

What is a cesarean section?

Cesarean delivery also called “C-section” is a surgical procedure in which incision is made through the abdominal wall either horizontally or vertically and then abdominal muscles are separated to make a second incision into the uterus wall. Then, the doctor extracts the baby through the uterine wall, cuts the umbilical cord and removes the placenta. After that, the uterus and the abdominal wall are closed with the stitches.

 

vaginal delivery and cesarean birth

 

What are the benefits of vaginal birth for the mother?

The vaginal birth benefits for the mother include:

  • Mommies who undergo normal delivery have a shorter hospital stay, around 2-3 days.
  • Mothers will be able to recover faster, usually from a few days to a week.
  • Breastfeeding can be initiated quickly and it has also a greater success rate.
  • The contact between mother and baby is more immediate.
  • The risks that are associated with surgery such as blood loss, infections, scarring, and other complications are avoidable.

 

What are the risks of vaginal birth for the mother?

There are a few serious risks that are associated with vaginal deliveries. These risks usually arise when there is any medical problem with the mother or when there is an issue that prevents the baby from the expected moving through the birth canal.

The vaginal birth risks for the mother include:

  • It is a longer and more physically challenging method of delivery.
  • Other possible vaginal birth complications include vaginal tearing or stretching, weakening of the pelvic muscles, urinary or bowel incontinence, hemorrhoids, severe pain, tears in the perineum (the part behind the vaginal wall) and psychological distress.

 

What are the benefits of vaginal birth for the child?

The vaginal birth benefits for the child include:

  • A child can access the beneficial bacteria when passes over the birth canal. These bacteria can increase the immunity of a child and make it less susceptible to contagious diseases.
  • As a baby passes through the vagina, the gravity in the vagina aids to squeeze or remove the amniotic fluid from the lungs of the baby. This helps the baby to respire better once it is outside the mother’s body.
  • A child that is delivered through the vaginal birthing method tends to have healthier skin.
  • Babies that are born by the normal delivery establish more interest in pre-breastfeeding behaviors such as sucking the mother’s breasts.

 

What are the risks of vaginal birth for the child?

The vaginal birth risks for the child include:

  • The baby may face the danger of oxygen deprivation, if there is umbilical cord compression or due to other complications during labor and delivery.
  • The baby may experience physical trauma while passing through the birth canal and it includes bruising, swelling or in rare cases the broken bones.

 

vaginal birth stages

 

What are the benefits of cesarean birth for the mother?

The benefits of C-section for the mother include:

  • Cesarean births are more convenient as they are scheduled in advance.
  • In such cases where there is any danger for the mother or the baby due to any medical condition, C-section is a safer option than the vaginal delivery.
  • For those mothers who have not had a C-section before, a deliberate cesarean delivery might decrease the risk of certain complications such as pre and post-delivery pain, vaginal injury, post-delivery heavy bleeding, loss of the bladder control and pelvic organ prolapse.

 

What are the risks of cesarean section for the mother?

The possible C-section risks for the mother include:

  • Mothers who undergo C-section need to stay at the hospital for a longer time period.
  • The recovery time becomes longer. In some cases, it may be up to two months.
  • The risk of C-section complications becomes high.
  • There is a high risk of pain at the place of an incision, blood clots or blood loss.
  • Abdominal muscles become weakened.
  • It is less likely that the mother/baby pair will start breastfeeding early.
  • The risk of death is high in C-section deliveries than vaginal deliveries.
  • The need for subsequent C-sections increases.
  • The risk of complications in the future pregnancies becomes high.
  • There is an increased risk of the need for C-sections in the future pregnancies.
  • The risk of stillbirth increases.
  • The risk of problems that involve the placenta increases, especially in the following pregnancies.

 

What are the benefits of cesarean section for the child?

The benefits of C-section for the child include:

  • Cesarean births can be scheduled in advance.
  • In such cases where there is any danger for the mother or the baby due to any medical condition, C-section is a safer option than the vaginal delivery.
  • The child will feel less pain in C-sections as compared to vaginal deliveries. In vaginal births, it becomes a difficult process for the baby to go through the vagina to be delivered. Whereas, the baby doesn’t need to undergo similar suffering when delivered through C-sections.

 

What are the risks of cesarean section for the child?

The possible C-section risks for the child include:

  • A child can have breathing issues that may lead to asthma in childhood.
  • There is a higher risk of the admission of a baby to the NICU (Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit).
  • Even though it is rare, unintentional scratches or cuts to the skin of the baby can occur during the surgery.
  • It is less likely that the mother/baby pair will start breastfeeding early.

 

cesarean birth stages

Conclusion:

Nip panic in the bud before all your thoughts and queries overcome you. One of the best ways to choose the right birthing method is to start by making inquiries, by doing study. Do certain homework on your own. You can find plenty of information at your disposal, which you can investigate on your own and talk to your doctor about everything that you know. Once you have a strong idea about what you’re dealing with, the easier it will be to make the precise decision about which childbirth method is best for you.

Look into the options offered: You may like to start with the huge one – “how am I going to deliver my baby?” Once you begin researching the different birthing methods, you may find that you are already favoring one above the other. Study these options a little, and start bearing in mind the benefits and risks of each birthing method.

Before you set your heart on any of the options, you should talk to your spouse and weigh-in his judgments too. Then, consult your doctor and talk about the different options concerning how and where. If your doctor is contented with your favored means of delivery, it’ll be stress-free to settle on creating a decision. The doctor will assist you with what is safest for you and your baby, likewise what’s most practical. Take their advice and recommendations to heart, and deliberate your concerns. If there are things you are uncertain or concerned about, your doctor is best to talk to and safeguard that you comprehend all you need to know undoubtedly.

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