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.

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.

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!