Giving birth to a baby is one of the most challenging things a woman has to do. It requires a lot of stamina and consideration of many other factors before entering this new phase of life. In fact, one has to even take pre, during and post pregnancy decisions including choosing a delivery method. The choice is between going for normal birth or cesarean. You need to weigh a lot of basics behind this as a lot of things change after giving birth. And, there are risk factors and comparisons involved with every medical procedure. Onlymyhealth editorial team talked to Senior Consultant - Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Cloudnine Hospital, Bangalore about the pros and cons of normal and cesarean delivery.
Advantages and disadvantages of C-section
A Cesarean delivery is a surgical method in which the baby is taken out by making an incision through the abdominal wall. Later on, the uterus and wall are closed with stitches. Check out the pros and cons of a C-section.
1. Doesn't cause back ache
C section generally doesn't cause any back ache unless there is a complication in the surgery or any infection. It is the posture of breast feeding that can lead to this.
Another advantage of having a C-section is that it can be scheduled in advance. You can preplan each and everything before birth and be ready around your due date. Therefore, it is much more convenient than having a normal delivery.
1. Takes more time to heal
Cesarean takes more time to heal and it hurts more after delivery. The cut doctors make in an episiotomy that is in the perinium during normal birth is very superficial. A cut on the skin and the muscle, whereas in a C-section, the cut is made right through the abdominal wall. Your uterus is cut and then the baby is taken out. That's why a normal delivery is recommended.
2. Incision area
You should take care of the incision area after a C-section for any discharge or excessive pain and go to the doctor if that's the case. Keep the incision clean and dry. Don't put yourself under undue stress like bending for a few weeks.
Also read: How a Caeserean Section is Done
3. Placenta Accreta
It is very safe but rarely there is a chance of normal birth if the first child is born through a C-section. A second cesarian child might make the mother suffer from what is called Placenta Accreta, which means the placenta gets attached to the scar of the C-section which is life threatening for the mother. It even has all other risk of a surgery involved.
4. Time gap before the next pregnancy
After one c section, there should be atleast a gap of 1-1.5 years especially if you're looking for normal birth the next time. But, there is no fixed rule because it also depends on your age. If you're above 35, it's good to have a second baby as soon as possible. But, generally it should be 1.5-2 years.
Pros and cons of normal delivery
Normal delivery or vaginal delivery is a very common way that is preferred by many women. They have less risks involved as compared to a cesarean. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of a normal birth:
1. Less increase in belly fat
Normal delivery process as such doesn't cause any belly fat to increase. It is the fat increased during pregnancy and after birth so by exercise and diet you can get rid of it. So, many women consider this as a benefit of choosing normal birth.
2. Can wait for normal pains
We can wait till 40-41 weeks for normal delivery if the pain doesn't start normally. But the baby needs to be monitored very closely because after 40 weeks, as such the placental function comes down and the water level comes down, sometimes the baby poops inside so we need to watch carefully. If everything is fine, you can wait for normal pains.
1. More painful
Normal birth is more painful but nowadays there is epidural to relieve the pain. However, as per Dr. Praveena Shenoi, it is still not right that just for the sake of pain, one goes for a C-section.
2. Induced labour is less smooth
In induced labour, it takes time for pain to start but as soon as the pain starts its a myth that the induction causes more painful contractions. This is not true. Although natural contractions comparatively go smoother.
3. Difficult if head comes down
Normal delivery is the best thing but sometimes the head comes down when it's too late for a c-section. At that stage, we have to do a vacuum or a forceps suction, we cannot do a cesarean then.
What is better Cesarean or normal delivery?
Everything in medicine, there is no universal rule that this is better than the other. It has to be tailor made for that particular pregnant lady. But, if we compare both pain wise, normal is better because that is a few hours of pain which you take and then post delivery it's much better to heal. Normal birth is better for both mother and child. C-section or normal delivery both are safe for diabetic patients. Depends on the person. For a healthy pregnancy and post delivery care, these things are important:
1. Healthy diet
Too much or too less weight is not suitable for both type of deliveries. For baby and the new mother,it is important to consume a healthy nutritious diet. The weight should be optimal for healthy pregnancy and delivery.
2. You should be fit and flexible
Pregnancy requires lots of stamina, whether you go for cesarean or normal delivery. It is also preferred that the woman should be fit and flexible with enough strength to give birth to a new life.
3. Calcium intake
Calcium intake should be continued for atleast a year after the birth of the baby because calcium deficiency is a major issue in women and it comes up as a problem during menopause if there is iron deficiency in the bones. Iron should be continued for 6 months.
4. Mild exercise
According to Dr. Praveena, mild exercises should be started as soon as the pain deteriorates which is about ten days after C-section, but major yoga and physical training you should prefer after ten to twelve weeks.
These were the pros and cons of a cesarean and normal delivery. Dr. Praveena added, "Even with PCOD, if you keep your weight under control, your diet is good, you need to get a hormonal profile done and with diet and exercise you can try normal delivery." So, you can weigh all these disadvantages and advantages, take opinion from your doctor and see your preference before choosing the method of delivery for yourself.
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