This question I have heard so many times from friends, colleges and family.
Nowadays, you get to have the option, normal birth or a C-section.
Babies can enter this world via a vaginal birth or surgical delivery by Caesarean sections, but the goal is to deliver a healthy baby.
I was lucky enough to go through a normal birth with our first son, Mason. I did have an epidural for the pain (yes, contractions can get unbearable and the epidural helps you to relax and rest before you need to start pushing)
After Mason was born and my epidural wore off, I had no pain, just a bit of discomfort “down there” – obviously, a baby was just pushed out of there!
I stood up, took a bath and was up and back to normal as if the whole 17hours of labour and delivering our baby never happened. Trust me, you forget the pain of normal birth as soon as you hold your precious baby in your arms.
In some cases, C-sections are planned for medical reasons that would make a natural birth to complicated or risky.
With our second son, Jason. I had a planned C-section as he was breached (when the baby is not in a heads-down position)
It ended up being an emergency C-section as Jason decided he wanted to come a day early. When we got to the hospital, I was already a few centimetres dilated, and by the time the doctors arrived, I was nearly ready to start pushing (they had to work so quickly)
Read more about my emergency C-Section story here
I was given a spinal block (medication to numb the lower part of your body – allowing you to remain awake during the C-section – it can take up to 12-24hours to wear off)
This was horrible for me, as I had to lay in bed, numb, not being able to move myself into a comfortable position and you must keep the catheter in until you are able to stand and walk by yourself. Horrible.
My husband had to help me to shower as I could not get the dressing wet after my C-section.
Pros of Normal Birth for the mother and baby
Going through normal birth can be very time-consuming and if you do not take medication for the pain, it can be physically gruelling. But one of the benefits of going through this is a shorter hospital stay and your recovery time compared to a C-section.
Having a normal birth, you avoid having major surgery. The truth is caesareans are major abdominal surgery with side effects including severe bleeding, scarring, infections, reactions to anaesthesia (like nausea and vomiting) and, of course, a longer recovery time.
With natural birth, your baby receives protective bacteria from the birth canal that helps built their immune system.
Passing through the birth canal helps shape your baby’s head and expel amniotic fluid from the lungs which lower baby’s risk for respiratory problems like asthma.
You will have more early contact with your newborn than woman who must undergo surgery, you can then also initiate breastfeeding sooner.
Pros of C-section for the mother and baby
I f a woman is eligible to have a vaginal delivery, then there are not a lot of advantages to having a C-section.
However, if you know you will be needing a C-section, your surgical birth can be scheduled in advanced, making it more convenient and predictable. You also won’t have to go through a long labour.
I have not read of any pros for a baby regarding a C-section. The only pros I can personally think of is when it is a medical emergency or in a lifesaving situation.
So, back to the BIG QUESTION Normal Birth or C-Section…?
As per my personal experience of having a normal birth and a C-section.
And by looking at the cons of natural vs. C-section birth.
It’s obvious – I would in a heartbeat have a normal birth again.
Yes, you can’t plan ahead (trust me this was the worst for me as I am obsessed with time management).
You might have to be in labour for hours before seeing and holding your precious newborn.
Trust me, after those hours of labour, you get to hold your baby, bond with your baby and as soon as you get home, you do not have the pain and discomfort and the inability to everything for your baby as with a normal birth.
You feel a sense of accomplishment after a natural birth. Going through the pain and bringing your baby in this world yourself and not by surgery.
With normal birth, you can walk around with your baby without having pain or having to take pain killers for weeks. Breastfeeding is so much more enjoyable and easier as you can move better.
You can literally do everything by yourself.
We woman were made to have natural birth.
If you do not have to have a C-section as per your medical reasons,
I encourage you to have a natural birth.
Do your research about the cons of having a C-section – there are so many. And as I said earlier, it is major abdominal surgery and major surgeries can lead to complications and side effects.
Although C-sections are generally considered safe and, in some situations lifesaving, they carry additional risks compared with a vaginal birth. They are a major surgery and involve opening a pregnant woman’s abdomen and removing the baby from her uterus because a vaginal birth is considered too dangerous or too difficult.