Caesarian delivery is not the most common way of birthing a baby in the world. Vaginal delivery has been the norm since the beginning of human life. But with the help of medical advancements, delivering a child through Caesarian delivery is not that uncommon. Caesarian delivery or a C-section simply means delivering a baby through the mother’s abdomen. Surgical incisions are done from the abdomen to the uterus in order to deliver the baby.
When it comes to delivering your baby, C- sections are usually recommended by healthcare providers for medical reasons that either affect the baby, the mother, or both. However, a mother can opt for a Caesarian delivery for personal reasons as well. Scheduling a C-section seems easier nowadays than waiting till the baby arrives on its own. But before scheduling a Caesarian delivery with your doctor, it is best to look into the pros and cons of having one. Compared to a vaginal delivery, a Caesarian delivery consists of more cons than pros since it involves major surgery.
When to have a Caesarian delivery?
A scheduled Caesarian delivery is done in the 39th week of pregnancy. Depending on various medical conditions, your doctor or healthcare provider will schedule a C-section for you. In such cases, it is either impossible for you to have a vaginal delivery or harmful for the baby to go through a vaginal delivery. Your doctor will opt for a C- section,
- If the baby is too large to go through the vagina. In these cases, trying a vaginal delivery will harm the baby.
- If your baby is in a breech position. The breech position implies that the baby’s feet are closer to your vagina. In a normal birth, the baby’s head will be positioned near your vagina.
- If you have placenta praevia, Placenta Praevia is a condition where the placenta lies low, partially or fully covering your cervix.
- Suppose you have STI infections present during birth, such as genital herpes. A vaginal delivery could infect the baby if the mother has it in the later stages of pregnancy.
- If you have high blood pressure.
- If you have excessive vaginal bleeding.
- If your labor is not progressing.
- Suppose your baby is in fetal distress. Fetal distress means that your baby is unwell.
If you have one of the above conditions, your doctor will recommend you have a Caesarian delivery rather than natural vaginal birth. Whether you have these conditions or opt for a C-section out of your own will, knowing about the pros and cons in advance is better for the safety of you and the baby. It will also provide a gist of what to expect before, during, and after a C-section.
Pros of Caesarian Delivery
Even though Caesarian delivery is major surgery, there are some pros. When compared to vaginal birth, women who have C-sections,
- Will be less likely to have urinary incontinence. Urinary incontinence means a person leaking urine by accident. Mothers who have a vaginal delivery most likely face this issue.
- Will be less likely to have pelvic organ prolapse.
- Will be able to schedule the surgery beforehand. This will be easier as it predicts when the baby will be born.
- Will be less likely to face fears and anxieties related to vaginal birth.
- Will have lower mortality rates if the mother and the baby are in danger.
Cons of Caesarean Delivery
Caesarian delivery also has many risks since it involves surgical incisions and scarring. A woman who has a C-section,
- Will have to stay in the hospital longer than a woman who had a vaginal delivery.
- Will require a longer recovery period. As C-section is major surgery, it will take up to two to three months for the wounds to heal.
- Will have lingering pain around the incision.
- Will be more likely to develop infections around the incision.
- Will develop blood clots.
- Will not be able to have skin-to-skin contact if she is under general anesthesia. This bonding is important as it quickens the breastfeeding ability of the mother.
- Will most likely opt for Caesarian delivery in future pregnancies.
- Will have a chance of their baby getting accidentally injured during surgery. (accidental cutting)
- Will have a risk of damaging the nearby organs, such as the bladder, during surgery.
- Will have a risk of excessive bleeding.
A Caesarian section carries more cons than a vaginal delivery; however, in a medical emergency, it can save both the mother’s and the baby’s lives.
How is a Caesarian delivery carried out?
A C-section will be scheduled by your doctor in advance or will be carried out immediately if there is an unexpected medical emergency during vaginal birth. You can opt for local or general anesthetics for the procedure. If you use local anesthetics, you will be awake during your surgery, and the lower part of your body will be numbed. This will allow you to have skin-to-skin contact with your baby, which will increase the bonding between the mother and the baby.
During the procedure, you will not be able to see the surgery as a screen will be placed in front of your body. The healthcare providers will make an incision that is 10 to 20 cm long in your abdomen and the womb. You may feel a pulling sensation during the delivery. If your baby is in good condition, you will be able to hold the baby right away. The whole surgery process may take up to 50 minutes to complete.
The recovery period for a C-section will be longer when compared to a vaginal delivery. Your doctor will prescribe painkillers for you to manage the lingering pain from the surgical site. A healed C-section site will eventually form a scar in your tummy.
Caesarian delivery carries more cons than pros when compared to vaginal delivery. However, a C-section is a very safe procedure if you are unable to have a vaginal delivery due to medical conditions or if you are anxious about giving birth naturally.