Caesarian or Vaginal Birth, the pros and cons.

Caesarian or Vaginal Birth, the pros and cons.

For many women having a vaginal birth seems like the only way to bring your newborn into the world and while this is considered the most natural way to deliver it is not always plain sailing and the stress and strain can mean it is too much for many women.  

Various conditions which would make a Caesarian the best option include when mom has a small pelvis and baby just wont fit, if mom has an underlying health condition such as a high blood pressure, heart disease or a sexually transmittable infection or if there is a problem with the placenta.

In these cases, it is better to know beforehand and plan your delivery method in advance.

There are pros and cons for both vaginal and caesarian births so women shouldn't be any more or less worried if they find themselves having to anticipate either. The most important consideration when deciding is how the delivery will affect the health and wellbeing of both mom and baby.

A recent report gave the pros and cons for either option but the decision is never simple and every woman is different.

Vaginal deliveries

This type of delivery usually means more work  and longer labour for most women but the recovery time is shorter than having a caesarian and shorter hospital stays mean mum and baby are home quicker, depending on local laws and regulations.  There are less medical procedures involved which means less risk of adverse reactions to anaesthesia, less scarring and a reduced risk of infection. Vaginal deliveries also allow mum to have close physical contact with baby immediately after the birth and breastfeeding can be initiated quicker.

However, this type of delivery is usually more physically and mentally challenging for mum and the effort and force required to push baby out can result in stretching and tearing of the skin and tissue of the vagina which may require stitches or result in weakening of the pelvic muscles which can affect bowel and urine functions.

For baby, the journey through the mother's birth canal can allow them to receive an early dose of good bacteria to help boost their immune system and protect their intestinal tracts. There are however risks to baby, particularly if they are big boned. The most common injuries are bruised or fractured collar bone and a bruised scalp, as a result of being squeezed through mom's pelvis.

Caesarian Section

Women who have had previous C-sections are more likely to require one for subsequent births. In the case of a breech or multiple birth a Caesarian is usually the best and safest option for both mom and baby. Where mom has a transmittable disease such as HIV or herpes it is advisable that baby be born in this way, to avoid contracting the disease during birth. This type of delivery also reduces the pressure on the vaginal area resulting in less chance of urine and bowel problems due to muscle fatigue.

There are more cons with a Caesarian because it involves major surgery which in itself can raise issues of pain, bleeding and infection at the site of the incision. It also takes longer for mom to recover from a Caesarian resulting in a longer hospital stay but also more abdominal pain and longer healing time. This can hamper her ability to perform all the duties of a new mom and she may require extra help until the caesarian wound heals.

While the birth via Caesarian tends to be much quicker and less stressful for baby it can result in breathing problems, even athsma,  as fluid is not squeezed as much from the lungs as during a vaginal birth. There is also the chance they could get nicked during the surgery.

While there are pros and cons for both types of delivery, it is most important than women keep themselves informed of all the options and discuss with their care giver which option is best for them and for baby.

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