Normal Delivery Vs Caesarean – Advantages & Disadvantages

Pregnant and looking forward to the big day? All to-be-parents are faced with the big question of whether to go with the long followed traditional method of childbirth or to go for the recently becoming popular Cesarean or C-section birth.


Vaginal Birth Vs C-Section Delivery

Mothers have been giving birth ever since the beginning of time when there were no ultrasound machines or even hospitals. It is now with the advancements in technology that mothers have an option of choosing another way of childbirth and avoiding going into a long and painful labour. A comparison of C-section vs normal delivery gives parents important insights into their options for childbirth.


Vaginal Birth

The natural way of delivery or vaginal birth is always recommended. Having a baby through this traditional way is said to have several health benefits both for the mother and the child. Here are some points you can consider before making your choice:

1. Pros of Vaginal Delivery

Being the natural way it is a preferred choice and has a number of plus points you should consider for both the mother and the baby.

For Mother

  • The mother gets to actively participate in the process, giving her a more positive and empowering experience.
  • The skin to skin contact during the process ensures better bonding between the baby and the mother
  • The recovery is much faster, with mothers usually being able to walk without any pain the same day, as compared to needing at least a day’s rest after an invasive method. In a week’s time the mother is generally fully recovered from a vaginal birth.
  • There is no scarring or need to take care of stitches. Besides, the visits to the hospital are also fewer.
  • Opting for delivering naturally you can sometimes also get to choose to deliver at home rather than the hospital. This must only be thought of after proper consultation with your doctor.

For Baby

  • When opting for a vaginal delivery, the baby is also ready to come out of the womb.
  • During the process of being pushed out from the vagina, the baby’s lungs expel the amniotic fluids filled in them, allowing normal breathing and less respiratory problems.
  • Babies born through vaginal delivery undergo fewer complications. There are less instances of allergies and they also begin breastfeeding earlier.
  • The baby inhales the good bacteria on coming out of the womb which helps in boosting the immune system.

2. Cons of Vaginal Delivery

While there are all the above benefits, there still remain a few risks while opting for vaginal delivery that should be known:

For Mother

  • With natural delivery, the time of childbirth remains uncertain and there is no way to schedule it. Delivery is entirely dependent on the mother’s body.
  • Going into labour accompanies pain and stress. There is no fixed duration of labour either. It can be short or even last for a few hours. However, there are a few drugs which may help with labour, and are given as per the doctor’s decision.
  • Sometimes there are complications which can lead to a drop in the baby’s heart rate. In such situations, the mother maybe given anaesthesia and taken for emergency C-section.
  • Post vaginal delivery, there maybe a few sexual problems faced by the mother due to injuries sustained during delivery.

For Baby

  • Sometimes when the baby is large then one might need assistance while delivery with suction cups or forceps.
  • There are very few instances of the baby suffering from any sort of injury while passing through the vagina.

Caesarean Section

Caesarean or C-section delivery is the surgical method for child birth. A small incision is made in the abdominal region which penetrates the uterus to take the baby out. C-sections can be planned after consulting with the doctor, and depend on the mother’s health. When the mother has health conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, or infections like HIV, then a C-section is the preferred choice of childbirth. Also if there are some problems during natural delivery like the baby not getting oxygen or labour taking too long, then an emergency C-section is done.

1. Pros of C-section

Caesarean has become a popular choice as well since it has quite a few benefits. These are the pros for C-section childbirth:

For Mother

  • When it is a planned procedure, it gives the parents the advantage of planning the birth.
  • The mother can avoid long hours of labour by opting for a C-section. This lets the mother avoid all the stress and labour pain.
  • The mother is not expected to face any sexual problems post a C-section birth.

For Baby

  • The baby is less likely to be affected by any infections being carried by the mother.
  • There are fewer chances of the baby being injured during birth.

2. Cons of C-section

Besides the benefits listed above, there are few cons that should also be evaluated:

For Mother

Like any other major surgery, C-section also carries a few risks.

  • The use of anaesthesia adds to the risk of complications.
  • There is also greater blood loss.
  • Also there are risks of infection. Hence the care of the wound needs to be ensured to facilitate the healing process. This also means more visits to the hospital for routine check-ups.
  • The recovery period is longer compared to natural child birth.
  • The breastfeeding process might get delayed too. This can have an effect on the bonding between the mother and the baby.
  • C-sections have a higher mortality rates for both babies and mother. Being put under anaesthesia increases these risks.

For Baby

  • Since it is not a natural birth, but rather something decided by the surgeon and the parents, the baby may not be prepared to come out of the mother’s womb.
  • In some cases the baby faces respiratory problems after being born.

Recommended Ways to Avoid a Caesarean Birth

  • Choose your health care provider carefully. It helps to know the statistics of the number of C-sections by the doctor, his views on both vaginal and C-section childbirth and also the mortality rates, and these details can help with making the choice.
  • Hiring doula who are professionals on pregnancy and childbirth can help with additional assistance during your pregnancy and also give you guidance to induce labour with fewer complications.
  • Going for birthing classes which teach breathing exercises and give pointers on how to get through labour in a natural manner without any medication is a good idea.
  • Having a healthy balanced diet and regular exercising increases you chances of being prepared for a vaginal birth.

Both these ways of childbirth have their pros and cons, and before making the choice, parents should consider all the factors and consult with their health care provider. Although natural birth is a less invasive and traditional way, going into labour can be a painful and stressful process. Also even after opting for vaginal delivery, there are chances of things not going as per plan and the doctor may have to perform an emergency C-section. Natural delivery and C-section are both techniques which have been around for a while and are well tired and tested. Eventually, the final decision is for the parents to make after evaluating all the aspects.