Giving birth is a beautiful thing because it essentially means bringing forth a new life to the world. However, any woman who has ever given birth will tell you that it comes with its fair share of ups and downs.
Often, the first decision most expectant mothers will have to make is whether to have a vaginal or cesarean section/c-section/cs birth.
The Choice Between Having A Vaginal Or Cesarean Birth
Cesarean deliveries are often either elective/planned or emergency. An expectant woman can opt for an elective/planned cesarean if they have a history of going through previous cesarean deliveries, if the baby is in breech position, in the case of multiple pregnancies, if the placenta is blocking the womb, and if the baby is in a transverse position.
Sometimes, the choice isn’t for a pregnant woman to make and circumstances may require a cesarean delivery.
Several situations may necessitate an emergency c-section including:
- Labor not progressing as expected.
- The baby showing signs of being in distress.
- When the umbilical cord get wrapped around the baby.
- Health problems such as elevated blood pressure.
- The baby’s head not fitting through the mother’s pelvis.
- Giving birth is never an easy process regardless of the method, but let us look at some of the cesarean birth pros and cons.
Pros of Cesarean Birth
1. Offer Convenience
As controversial a subject as it is, convenience is the main benefit that comes with an elective cs birth. The c-section will often get scheduled in advance, and it also lessens the stress and anticipation related to the labor process.
The ability to plan the actual birth down to the date and time does allow the expectant mother to make other necessary arrangements to welcome her new baby into the world.
2. Skip The Labor Process
Any woman who ever went through a vaginal birth will tell you that it is a long, painful, and grueling process. A cesarean delivery can forgo the labor process, but it isn’t always the case because an emergency cesarean may come about following labor complications
3. Possibly Reduce Likelihood of Incontinence
Incontinence, which in simpler terms refers to reduced bladder control, often comes as a result of vaginal birth. Having a cs can lessen the likelihood of developing the condition.
4. Reduced Birth Trauma Risk
Vaginal births feature given levels of risks including birth injuries that come from the baby passing through the birth canal. Birth injuries may also result due to the use of forceps during the birthing process of vacuum extraction. C-sections do not involve any of these procedures.
5. Reduced Risks Of Oxygen Deprivation
The vaginal birth process also does have a likelihood of affecting oxygen flow to the unborn baby. The risk of oxygen deprivation is almost non-existent with cesarean deliveries.
6. Possible Elimination of Postpartum Sexual Dysfunction
Women who give birth vaginally usually suffer from sexual dysfunction issues the first three months after childbirth. The problem is experienced significantly less by women who have had cs births.
7. Decreased Risk Of Mother-To-Baby Transmissions
Women who suffer from chronic conditions such as HIV can reduce the likelihood of transmitting the disease to their baby at birth by having c-sections.
Cons of Cesarean Births
1. Pre-term Delivery Risks
Sometimes an expectant woman’s due date may not be accurate, and with an elective cs, in this case, it could result in the birth of a pre-term baby.
2. Risk Of Injury
C-sections come with a given level of risk related to the cs incision. The child may sustain injuries if the doctor makes the cs incision incorrectly.
3. Surgery Complications
A c-section is a surgery and like with all other operations it comes with the likelihood of complications. Anesthesia-related complications such as allergic reactions, pneumonia, and low blood pressure may arise during or after the cs process.
4. Higher Mortality Rate
C-sections relatively increase the risk of the mortality rate for both the baby and mother. The child has twice the infant mortality rate when delivered through a c-section.
5. Prolonged Hospital Stay
Unlike vaginal births where some women can leave the hospital within a day or two after delivery, c-section births come with longer hospital stays. Usually, the mother and baby may have to remain in the hospital for three to five days longer after a cs delivery.
6. Increased Likelihood of Clinical Postpartum Depression
Mothers who give birth through c-section deliveries have a significantly increased risk of developing clinical postpartum depression.
7. Higher Costs
Sometimes, insurance does not cover elective cesarean procedures leaving the costs to the new mother. C-section costs are often costlier compared to vaginal hospital births.
8. Breastfeeding Problems
Mothers who deliver via c-sections have a markedly higher chance of having breastfeeding problems.
9. Bowel Function Problems
New mothers who have had cs births also have a higher likelihood of developing bowel function issues afterward.
10. Lower Apgar Scores
Babies born through cs deliveries have lower Apgar scores and may need additional medical assistance such as incubation.