Normal Birth Versus Cesarean Section: Pros and Cons of Each and Which One is More Suitable for You

If you are an expecting mother inching towards your big day the looming question in your mind would be whether to go for a normal delivery or a C-section. This is a common confusion among most of the women and this article will help you make the informed choice that suits you the best.

Normal birth Vs. C-section

In most cases the medical practitioner chooses between the two options keeping in mind the best interests of the mother and the baby. Today more than 30% of child births are through C section and many mothers opt for it willingly. Before concluding on the choice of delivery here are some advantages and disadvantages of both normal and cesarean delivery.

Normal delivery

Normal delivery is perceived as a very natural birthing format. It involves no incision and is a very favorable birthing process for the physiology of the mother. · Since there is no surgery involved it is easier for the post-partum health of the mother. She can spring back to normalcy quickly as the recovery time is very short. · Establishment of lactation is easy with a normal delivery as the hormones released by the body after child birth takes care of the natural process of milk production. · Babies born by normal delivery end up having fewer complications according to proven scientific studies. Many women fear having a normal delivery because of the sheer pain they have to go through when in labor. The natural child birth process involves a series of contractions that increase in frequency with time. These contractions that causes the labor pain brings about the necessary changes the pelvic muscles to enable childbirth. The pain endurance threshold may be lower for few women and in those cases they opt for Cesarean. Urinary incontinence is also a common after effect of normal delivery.

Pros of normal delivery:

1- It's not surgery!

Normal delivery has a great advantage over c-section which is the natural and non surgical technique used. Surgeries - even the well established one - will always carry the risk of any surgery like risks of the surgery itself (bleeding and blood loss, faulty surgical incisions, surgical wounds and their repair process, and post operative pain if insufficient analgesia was given). Also there is the risk of anesthesia like allergy to any of the anesthetic components or catching pneumonia of the ventilation machine.

2- It keeps you free of surgical scars:

Normal delivery will hardly leave any scars on your body except for some cases where the surgeon needs to cut through what is called episiotomy incision to widen up the passage for baby's head.

3- Better bonding with the baby:

Rapid post operative recovery and immediate bonding between the mother and baby has a positive rule in enhancing future relationship with your baby as these first minutes of his life are the most important at all.

4- It will give you better chances for future conception:

Normal delivery keeps your uterus in shape without any scars and this will make your uterus more viable for future conception and delivery on the opposite to c-section where your uterus gets a scar or lots of scars according to how many time to get pregnant which affects future fertilization and makes it riskier for this uterus to get pregnant again. This is why women who perform normal deliveries in developing countries can get pregnant at almost unlimited times (they can give birth to 10 or more babies in their lifetime) while women who choose c-section can get at most 4-5 babies during their whole life time.

Cons of normal delivery:

1- It will take you time and effort:

Especially for the first time you get to deliver your baby since your cervix isn't accustomed to open widely for baby's head to pass and so your first normal delivery can take up to 12-18 hours to lay the baby. The next times you go through normal delivery after your first one will be less painful and faster to proceed.

2- Sometimes, the surgeon will cut through your vagina:

It sounds painful but it isn't most of times as he will give you local anesthesia in order to make a small incision in your vagina to widen up the passage for your baby. 

3- It is unpredictable:

You get to expect when you are going to deliver your baby by weeks but the moment could simply come at any time. You should get well prepared and organize the hospital you will go to when you start to get labor contractions and also have your gynecologist on speed dial to tell you what to do in emergencies and also make sure of his availability at the time you get delivery (make sure he's not out of the country or on vacation) or else make him refer you to a colleague of his as a back up specialist for that moment.

4- Sometimes, it doesn't work:

Not all cases of normal delivery end up normally delivering their babies, sometimes the normal delivery passage gets obstructed either due to a bigger baby size or a smaller passage. Sometimes also the uterus becomes hypotonic which means you can't simply do enough pushes to get the baby out. In these cases or others, your gynecologist will proceed with c-section which is the last resort at this moment to get you and your baby to safety.

Cesarean Section

C-section is chosen by women to circumvent long hours of labor pain.  However generally the doctor decides to have C-section if normal delivery turns out to be risky option for the mother and the baby. A breech baby or a baby with cord around the neck low amniotic fluid levels or a tired mother can be some situations in which a Cesarean is done. · It is even opted by many for the predictability it offers. A convenient time and date is chosen and the operation is performed to avoid having any last minute emergencies. · Couples who undergo treatment in the best IVF center in India or any other kind of treatment in a fertility center choose to deliver by C-section in order to avoid any complications for their precious baby. Being a surgical procedure a cesarean operation can result in longer recovery time for the mother. Proper and extensive post-partum care is necessary for the new mother. Establishment of lactation can be difficult in some cases and the help of a lactation consultant may be required. Fetal distress and respiratory issues can also arise during the cesarean operation in some cases.

Pros of cesarean section:

Pros of c-section are simply the opposite of normal delivery cons: You don't feel labor pain, you get to mark exactly the day of your delivery so there is no place for surprises at most of cases, you don't get that ugly episiotomy incision at your vagina, and also you save time by skipping all that time consumed at normal delivery for waiting your cervix to open up.

Cons of c-section:

1- It is a surgery which carries all risks of surgeries; Bleeding, infection of the wound, herniation of the wound if not repaired efficiently, faulty incisions of any other organs like the bladder or any other organ or vessels at the surgical area.

2- You will need to get anesthesia too which could be general or regional anesthesia and both of them have pros and cons too, try to check that link for matching articles on Orrec that discuss this subject.
3- Less bonding with your baby as it takes time for you to get back to normal activities and start to nurse and breast feed your baby.
4- It needs a surgeon unlike normal delivery which can be performed by nurses with sufficient training. This comes with lots of organizing and some extra cost too due to doctor's fees and hospital fees for surgical theaters.

To sum up:

Normal delivery is a better option at many ways and it is a global trend to get back to normal deliveries but sometimes it is painful and time consuming for the mother and it fails also sometimes. Cesarean section is the surgical alternative and shouldn't be considered unless necessary to avoid all the surgical and anesthetic risks which can be serious sometimes. However, c-section could be the only option we got and could be life saving at some conditions so better even if you are going to do normal delivery, to do it at a highly equipped medical center that could proceed with immediate surgical opening if needed.

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