Vaginal Birth Vs. C-Section: Pros & Cons

Cesarean and normal delivery

Aha! That’s the feeling of pregnancy for the first time. These fortunate moments can never be expressed fully in words. At the same time, there are lot of doubts and fears which a woman develops about her pregnancy.

Vaginal delivery and C-Section

 

Common Fears during Pregnancy

Don’t be scared with your fears as it is natural. The same happens with every other pregnant woman too.

  • How safe is my baby?
  • Will I be able to survive the labor pain?
  • Will I have a normal delivery?
  • What if I get the C-sec surgery?
  • Will I be able to take care of my newborn?

When it’s time for Baby’s birth

When your 9 months period of pregnancy is almost over, it’s time for the baby to step into your world. This can happen in two ways:

  • Either a vaginal birth or normal delivery;
  • Or a surgical delivery by Cesarean section

The successful delivery is beyond the method of delivery but the ultimate goal is to ensure that the baby is healthy and so is the mother.

Let’s have some more clarity on the Pros and Cons of both these methods.

PROS OF VAGINAL DELIVERY

For Mother

  • The skin to skin contact during vaginal delivery ensures a stronger bond between the mother and the baby.
  • The recovery time is much lesser. The mother may feel fully recovered and energetic in almost a week.
  • The scarring and stitches are eliminated in this procedure. Thus the number of hospital visits are also fewer. 

For Baby

  • The baby is prepared to come out of the womb.
  • When the baby is being pushed out from the vagina, the lungs expel the amniotic fluids filled in them. This helps in allowing normal breathing of the baby and reduces chances of respiratory problems.
  • Breastfeeding is possible immediately after the birth.
  • The child is less prone to allergies.
  • The baby ingests some protective bacteria while coming out of the womb. This helps boost the child’s immunity.

CONS OF VAGINAL DELIVERY

For Mother

  • The time of childbirth remains uncertain; and it cannot be scheduled.
  • Labor process requires the mother to bear immense pain of labor and go through physical stress. The duration of labor may vary from an hour or two hours of pushing to almost 18 hours before your baby is born.
  • Injuries may be sustained during delivery and this may cause sexual problems.
  • Complications may arise during labor pain affecting baby’s heart rate. Such situations may demand emergency C-section.

For Baby

  • If the baby is large, there are chances of needing assistance during delivery with suction cups or forceps.
  • The baby can suffer from injuries like dislocation of bone etc. while passing through the vagina.
  • There is a risk of birth trauma.

vaginal birth and Cesarean delivery

PROS OF C-SECTION DELIVERY

For Mother

  • If it is a planned procedure, parents get the advantage of planning the birth.
  • It eliminates the long hours of labor and the stress which comes along with it.
  • Sexual problems are avoided in this process.

For Baby

  • The baby is safer from physical injuries during delivery.
  • The baby gets protected from any infections which can be transmitted from the mother.

CONS OF C-SECTION DELIVERY

For Mother

  • It has a longer recovery period which requires stay at hospital for 3 to 4 days after delivery. After discharge from hospital, the body may take around six weeks’ time to heal completely.
  • Breastfeeding is a great experience of motherhood. In case of C-section, the breastfeeding process might be delayed till the drugs are cleared from the blood stream. Breastfeeding has an impact on the bonding between the mother and the baby.
  • Blood loss and risk of infection is higher. This also means that the number of hospital visits is increased.
  • The mortality rates for both babies and mother is higher.

For Baby

  • The human intervention in the process of birth may not be aligned with the baby’s expectation of coming out of the mother’s womb.
  • In some cases, the baby is seen facing respiratory problems.

Now that you know the pros and cons of both the methods, relax and strengthen your emotional bond with the baby. It’s time to enjoy each moment of your pregnancy.

Achieving Enhanced Mother and Child Care

Pregnancy and child birth are two distinct events in the life of a woman which make her feel complete. During the entire period of pregnancy distributed across three trimesters, a woman goes through various moods and expectations like physiological, psychological, social etc. Medical needs are also necessary and a proper routine observation and consultation from a gynecologist and obstetrician is quintessential.

Mother and Child Care

In line with these needs of the expectant mother, the underlined fundamental need is to feel the sense of control and empowerment during this journey of childbirth. Hence, the whole family including the pregnant woman should ensure that high quality care is provided to her. Needless to say, these women feel physically and mentally stressed about the delivery and feel urgent desire to have a pleasant and comfortable environment.

Ample Sleep: With this adorable new member in the family, ensure that you sleep sufficiently. A new born sleeps from almost 16 hours a day but there are short breaks during this sleep. For the woman to get sufficient sleep, the best way is to leave any work in hand aside and sleep when the baby is sleeping. Always place the baby on their back for sleep and ensure that the place should not be stuffed with toys etc. which might suffocate the baby. During the night, you can alternate the position of baby’s head so that no flat spot develops on the head.

Ample Sleep

Hygiene: Whether it is your first experience of motherhood or not, hygiene plays a very important role. Since newborns do not have strong immune system, this will alleviate the risk for infections. Keep a hand sanitizer at a position where anyone coming close to baby can pick it effortlessly.

Breastfeeding: Every mother should breastfeed their children and should take care of following basic steps during feeding.

  • Baby may swallow air during the feeds. Hence, you should burp the baby every 5 minutes if your baby tends to be gassy.
  • Baby typically needs to be fed every 2 to 3 hours. Make sure to breast feed from both breasts turn by turn giving around 10-15 minutes to each breast.
  • If your baby takes longer naps, you may need to wake up the baby to ensure that they are fed sufficiently for proper growth.

Sore nipples and hardening of breasts after the delivery may happen. As the milks comes in, they might feel painful for several days so you should not be worried about it, but make sure to clean the nipples after breast feeding. Bonding, swaddling and Soothing Touch is very significant in making the child get acquainted with the surroundings and feel secured. This physical closeness also strengthens emotional bonding. A gentle massage is also a nice way to give the soothing touch to the baby.

Bathing

Bathing:

The umbilical cord takes time in falling off and further the navel takes time in healing completely. This process may take around 1 to 4 weeks’ time. During this while, the baby should be cleaned with a sponge bath ensuring that the genital area and joints are given extra attention. Baby’s eyes should be cleaned using a soft muslin cloth or clean cotton ball. Damp the cloth or cotton ball in water and wipe the eye gently from inner corner to the outside. Make sure to use clean piece for every eye. While bathing the baby, keep all items for use ready before hand. This includes a soft, clean towel, a soft brush to stimulate the scalp, clean diaper, unscented baby soap, baby powder, shampoo etc. It is best to make the baby go to sleep after the bath since the child feels tired in the bath and can get a very relaxing nap.

Seeking Help: Once you are on your own after getting discharged from the hospital, it might feel very hectic and overwhelming to be on your own especially with the new member in the family. Seeking help from a professional nurse or friends and family is a great idea.This helps in getting acquainted with handling baby and taking due care of the baby as well as your own health.

Diaper Rashes: A child dirties the diaper around 10 times a day. To change the diaper, lay your baby on the back; always clean the area before placing another diaper. Be careful as a boy might urinate even while you are removing the diaper. Wipe the girl from bottom to front so as to avoid any urinary tract infection.

Diaper Rashes and Checkup

The Postpartum Checkup: Approximately after six weeks of motherhood for first time moms, you must schedule a visit to your gynecologist so that you are sure of your recovery. This visit might need to be scheduled early in case of C-section delivery.

A right consultation from your gynecologist is one thing which ensures that your happy motherhood experience goes just perfect!!

Painless Delivery – A Blessing to Pregnant Women!!

Motherhood is an expression of completion of a woman’s life. It is undoubtedly a fascinating phase in the journey of a woman’s life. Yet, another aspect associated to motherhood is the immense pain during labor and the apprehensions of having a normal delivery. In such a scenario, the doctors are actively working on finding ways where expectant women can pass the process of giving birth to a new life through a natural process of ‘Painless Delivery’.

Painless Delivery

Can delivery be really painless?

The process of giving birth to a new life is an amazing miracle of nature. When this process is done by giving labor analgesia to the expectant mother at the time of delivery ensuring a natural delivery with minimal amount of pain, it is commonly known as painless labor. This is a mechanism which reduces the chances of C-section in a large number of cases.

The pain sensation during the labor pain is caused by strong uterine contractions. Since the nerves that carry pain sensations areblocked at the spinal level, the pain sensation does not reach the brain where the pain is felt. Thus, the pregnant woman is able to deliver the child with very little or no pain.

The Painless Delivery Mechanism

The Painless Delivery is possible by using Epidural Anaesthesia in which the woman is passed with anesthesia medicine in the back using a small pipe. This procedure is continued till the time delivery happens. Despite being fully conscious during the labor pain, the epidural offers continuous pain relief to the lower part of the body. During this process, the overall sensation decreases thereby relieving the woman from the feeling of pain. All this while, the pregnant woman remains conscious without going through the pain all the while. After the delivery, the dilation process occurs normally yet the feeling of contraction pain is reduced to a great extent.

The anesthetic medications passed through the epidural space act in two ways. One, the nerves leaving the spinal column is blocked by these medicines thereby blocking the nerve conduction. This produces an analgesic effect on the patient. Further, these opioid medicines block the opioid receptors in the spinal column, which also cause relief from labor pain. The effect of medication may be analgesic or anesthetic depending upon the concentration in which the medicine has been used. Higher concentration of medicine leads to blocking of sensation in the nerves causing anesthesia. But if the concentration of the same medicine is reduced largely, the impact of medicine only blocks the pain fibers. This, then, causes analgesia in which the pain relief is offered without any signs of muscle weakness.

Techniques involved in Painless Delivery

The two main techniques that are used to administer an epidural are:

Single shot epidural:  It is done by injecting the opioid medication in the epidural space by giving an injection on the patient’s back under doctor’s supervision. This injection may be given in either the cervical, thoracic or lumbar region.

Techniques of painless delivery

Epidural catheter technique: Another technique involves a fine bore tube to be passed into the epidural space. Then, the medication can be deposited into the epidural space either continuously or intermittently.

Contraindications for an Epidural Anaesthesia

  • If any of the following five symptoms exist in the expectant mother, then Epidural Anaesthesia should not be considered.
  • If the pregnant mother is having some heart ailment,
  • In case the blood pressure becomes low due to some reason,
  • If she is having anatomical complications in the spinal column,
  • In case of any sort of skin infectionat the site where epidural is to be given,
  • If there is any known allergy to the local anaesthetic drug.

Advantages of using Epidural Anaesthesia:

Epidural is a safe and effective way of relief during labor pain making painless delivery possible.

The dosage of the medicine can be completely adjusted by the anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist who regulates the relief. This control plays a very significant role because as the labor progresses and the baby gradually moves farther down into the birth canal, the dosage requires variation since it is possible that it is not sufficient enough to cover the pain, or the pain may get shifted to some different area.

Another advantage of using this localized medication technique is that the expectant mother remains alertand awake during labor and birth. This painless labor offers such immense relief to the pregnant mother that she may even rest and sleep comfortably as the cervix dilates.

Yet another benefit is that the expectant mother saves sufficient energy which can utilize at the time of pushing. Since very minuscule amount of medication reaches your baby as compared to the use of systemic narcotics, this keeps the relatively safer and even the mother is ready for breast feeding much earlier.

How to Deal With a High-Risk Pregnancy

High Risk Pregnancy sounds quite critical and it may be life threatening for both the baby and the mother. If you are having a high-risk pregnancy, it connotes that you and your baby are more prone to health issues during the time of pregnancy and delivery and these effects may even be seen beyond that in life. The health issues may vary from minor problems to high risk conditions.

High Risk Pregnancy

The Cause of High-Risk Pregnancy

Complications can arise at any point before or during the pregnancy. Good nutrition, healthy lifestyle and proper medical treatment are the measures which help in avoiding the risk during pregnancy. Yet, there are some conditions which may occur before you becoming pregnant leading to high-risk pregnancy. Some of those causes are:

Before Pregnancy:

  • The age of mother
  • Overweight or underweight
  • Past history of complication during pregnancy
  • Already existing diseases like High blood pressure, diabetes etc.

During Pregnancy:

  • Preeclampsia is a condition where the occurrence of high blood pressure, change in levels of urinary protein and liver enzymes may lead to an effect on kidneys, liver and brain. However proper treatment can make it possible for pregnant women with Preeclampsia to deliver healthy babies. A more intense form of preeclampsia, eclampsia may even cause seizures and coma in the expectant mother.

    HIV/AIDS

  • HIV/AIDS is the disorder which may even be transferred to the babies during pregnancy. This may occur either while giving birth or during the process of breastfeeding. This disease is powerful enough to damage the cells responsible for your immunity and may become a cause for certain cancers.
  • Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes which occur only in pregnant women. It is that type of diabetes which occurs only during your pregnancy and did not exist before your pregnancy.

    Ways to cope with High-Risk Pregnancy

    The risk may persist but the under mentioned tips will help you find ways to cope and reduce the risk that is exposed to the said pregnancy.

    Attention on Health:

    Attention on Health

    One can incorporate simple steps in life which definitely help in reducing the intensity of the risk. These simple measures may include routine appointments with doctor, getting the suggested tests done on time and discuss the reports with the doctor, ensuring proper medication routine as prescribed and reach out to doctor with clarifications as and when required.

    Healthy nutritious food: Each pregnant woman should eat plenty of healthy foods including eggs, oatmeal and apples. In case you have low levels of iron, you should consult your doctor to get a prescription.

    Healthy nutritious food

    Stay hydrated: Pay attention to your water intake and consume sufficient quantity of water as part of your daily routine.

    Awareness: Despite having the family and loved ones around to take due care of you in this stage of pregnancy, it is very essential that you yourself are aware of the signs or symptoms so that you can seek right care in case of any emergency.

    Exercise adequately: There are times when your doctor may advise you not to do any exercise. Otherwise, it is very important to do regular exercise during pregnancy. Walking remains an extremely efficient way of exercising. You may seek your doctor’s consultation to know the types of exercises which are safe and appropriate for you.

    Exercise Adequately

    Join Some Classes: Knowing that you have a high-risk pregnancy, you can enroll yourself into special classes where you get adequate information about dealing with the risks and the kind of caution that can be observed.

    Family Support: Share with your partner, family and friends about the risk you are concerned with in the context of your pregnancy. They should be aware that you presume this period to be a stressful time and why you don’t find this to be easy. Clearly explain to them the kind of support you are expecting from them.

    Living Stress-Free: Pregnancy is usually associated with hormonal changes as well. And, when you are having a high-risk pregnancy, you should definitely take certain actions which give you ways to release your stress and be stress-free. Taking time out for oneself and spending time relaxing and meditating are some great stress busters.

    Interact with women having similar experience

    Interact with women having similar experience: You may join a group of high-risk pregnancy women in your area. You may also like to get in touch with those women who had faced some complications or had dealt with high-risk pregnancy. Their personal sharing will give you courage and confidence to pass this face with reduced stress. This will also serve like pre-preparation of getting ways to handle the child birth.

    Know the symptoms: During meetings with your gynecologist specialist, you should seek guidance on your medical conditions and the specific signs which can be looked for in your case to know that it’s time for doctor’s consultation.

    Motherhood is a wonderful experience, enjoy instead of being stressed!

Coping with changes in your body during Pregnancy

Pregnancy Care

Pregnancy is a joyous experience, but it also brings up lot of uncomfortable feelings, both physical as well as mental. Changes in your weight plus a growing belly can make you feel insecure or even ashamed of your body, but it should not! It’s important to know that there is a surge in hormone levels and blood circulation within your body during pregnancy due to which you face uneasy symptoms during those nine months. Remember, you are supposed to grow and your body is supposed to change. Even though you are tired and feel enormous, you are creating life.

Coping with changes in your body during pregnancy

To make this journey beautiful in which you appreciate your body, a shift in perspective is required. You can experience a whole new level of confidence by acknowledging that you are bringing a beautiful, perfect life into this world. If you find yourself feeling bad about yourself or how you look during pregnancy, you are not alone. And, there are some tips that can ease your journey towards motherhood.

Appreciate your changing body: No matter how large you think you are, you are probably blowing it out of proportion. Your expanding size is mostly in your head. Remember that you are beautiful no matter what, and this is all part of the process.

Educate yourself

Educate yourself: Get more knowledge by watching videos on pregnancy, notice how the mother’s body adjusts to accommodate the infant.

Meditation: Do meditation to battle negative thinking. Start a prenatal yoga. Yoga allows you to develop a connection between your mind and body. A regular yoga practice can also relieve pregnancy-related stress and anxiety.

Meditation

Have a good support network: It is a good idea to surround you with positive people. The key thing to help you stay upbeat is to stay away from critical people. Instead, open up to supportive, understanding people in your social circle. Sharing your feelings with other expectant mothers can also help you feel less alone in the process.

Focus on health: A healthy weight is essential for the health of your baby. Educate yourself on the specific changes that occur to better understand why weight gain is vital in supporting a growing baby. Exercise regularly.

Pamper Yourself

Pamper yourself:  Nourish your body and mind with a self-care routine that suits you. Listen soothing music, sit in nature. Even just putting on makeup and getting dressed up for a date night with your partner can boost your self-esteem.

Love yourself: There will be days when you are exhausted and have low self-esteem. It happens. Don’t allow yourself to think negative thoughts. You are growing a baby and you need to put on weight to support the life growing inside of you.

Give yourself a pat on the back as this is the time to feel like a ‘Superwoman’ and a ‘divine goddess’, for this extraordinary ability of bringing a brand new life into the world. In order to give your little one the best care, maintaining a positive frame of mind is as important eating healthy and staying active.

Best Tips to Prepare for Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding

With the changing times, everything in the world around us has been witnessing change. And the same holds true even in the case of pregnancy and breastfeeding. Some decades ago, pregnant women used to prepare themselves for breastfeeding by their chests with a rough towel to ‘toughen their nips’ and start breastfeeding without facing soreness.

Best Tips to Prepare for Breastfeeding

Today, more significance is laid on seeking good breastfeeding information even before you have given birth to the child. This gives much ease and comfort to handle the new born. At the same time, you are clear about what is normal to deal with and what needs attention and should make you seek external help from either the experienced or the expert.

Here are some of the best tips which will prepare you for your first breastfeeding experience.

Sharing. When you talk to experienced women who are either breastfeeding or have done that in the past, you get familiar with how they have dealt with.

Doctors Advice

Awareness. Reading books, gathering information on the subject makes you comfortable about the subject and with clarity, your mind and body gets at ease with the art of breastfeeding.

Know Your Body Well. Some women might have medical factors or challenges with breastfeeding, and hence it is good to discuss them with your doc well in advance. These factors include Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), some past history of having undergone breast surgery, hormonal imbalances, complication in getting or staying pregnant, puberty issues related to breast growth and development.

Although these issues don’t imply that such women cannot breastfeed their baby, but prior discussion helps in preparing to develop a plan.

Baby’s Calendar. Schedule your time for baby in the calendar. This time is not some hours of the day, but the initial few weeks of your motherhood. As a mother, you should try to keep yourself booked for the first two weeks only for breastfeeding the child.

Teaching Baby

Teaching the Baby. The newborn also needs to learn the art of taking the feed from you. This way, the baby starts latching on to your breasts the right way and you start becoming comfortable with the feeding process without getting soreness on your nipples.

Prepare your wardrobe. Stock your wardrobe with necessary stuff like supportive nursing bras, nursing pads, purified lanolin for application on sore nipples, comfortable dresses which make breastfeeding easy for you.

Snooze Often

Snooze Often. Endorphins overrule the body for about a week and hence, as much as the baby sleeps, you too should. This helps in recovering from childbirth and the whole focus is only breastfeeding the baby.

Early Breastfeeding. If you get a normal delivery, then you can breastfeed your baby immediately after birth or at least two hours after birth. It is best share your plan about breastfeeding with the medical professional around you.

However, in case of a C-section, you cannot start to breastfeed the baby immediately after birth. In such a case, go as per doctor’s counsel but once you start breastfeeding, follow the normal breastfeeding routine.

Easy Tips You Need to Know for a Normal Delivery

Normal Delivery

Pregnancy is very crucial for any would-be mother. And a normal delivery is something which every woman would desire. It is a well-established fact that a normal delivery is known to be the best for the mother and the child. Yet the fact is that it takes lot more to be able to give vaginal birth to a child without undergoing surgery.

Easy Tips You Need to Know for a Normal Delivery

1: Support is Needed. In today’s time where most of the women are found working during their pregnancy and staying alone in nuclear families, the experience of pregnancy can be very different than it would be in an environment where you have people to take care and give advice. Research analysis has revealed that women who received expert support and care during pregnancy time were half as likely to require a C-section as those who had no expert around to take care. Their labor time was also 25 percent shorter.

2: Keep Yourself Busy. Active labor for a first-time mother may last for an average of twelve to fourteen hours. Paying attention on the cramps and worrying about it from the beginning of abdominal cramps can make things difficult. Hence it is recommended that one should get busy in activities like a walk or a shower or into something you love to do like cooking etc.

The more time you can spend at home, the better it is. When you are relaxed, you are able to easily pass through the time of labor pain.

Manage Weight

3: Manage Your Weight. It is natural to gain weight during pregnancy. By eating healthy and in proper cycles, you can manage your weight well so that you are not overweight. It is easier and smooth labor when the weight is manageable. This reduces the complications and, in turn, the medical interventions too.

4: Prenatal education. Knowing about the delivery process and prenatal childbirth prepares the pregnant women to deal with the dos and don’ts easily. It is proven that prenatal education has 50 percent more chances for a normal delivery. Breathing, meditation, relaxing, listening to music, getting massage from an expert are some of the ways to get over the last minute stress.

Healthy Diet and Exercises

5: Healthy Diet. Eating right is very crucial for a healthy pregnancy. Proper diet not only keeps your body fit and healthy, but it also ensures that the fetus is getting healthy growth and development. The physical strength and good health prepares the body to face the challenges of labor with ease. Diet should contain good amount of green vegetables, which are rich in iron and folate acid. This prevents the possibility of developing post-delivery anemia.

6: Exercises. Regular exercise builds the stamina in general and adds to the ability of bearing the pain during labor. Kegel exercises are of immense help in strengthening the pelvic region and thighs.

Routine consultations, exercises and physiotherapy sessions, understanding of the delivery process, the diet and mental state are some of the factors which impact the delivery. Immediately after the normal delivery, having skin to skin contact with the baby and initiating breastfeeding right after birth is the most natural way of building a strong bond of affection and trust. Enjoy a Healthy and Happy Motherhood!