Vaginal delivery has been the way babies have been born in this world since the beginning of humanity. There is no secret that childbirth is one of the most painful experiences in a mother’s life. However, giving birth to your baby is also one of the most blissful moments in a woman’s life. There are two ways to give birth to a baby, and vaginal birth is one of them. Vaginal delivery means giving birth to a baby through a person’s vagina. Throughout history, vaginal delivery has been the only way to give birth to a baby until modern medicine arrived in the picture. The second way of birthing a baby is by C-section. C-section implies delivering a baby through surgical incisions done by the abdomen to the uterus.
Giving birth is a tedious process whether you choose to have a vaginal delivery or a C-section. Vaginal delivery is the most common and natural way to give birth to women all around the world. If you are planning a vaginal birth process for your baby, it is better to look into the types of vaginal birth, the pros, and cons of vaginal birth as well as when not to have a vaginal delivery.
Types of vaginal delivery
There are three different types of ways you can deliver a baby through a vagina.
- Spontaneous birth – This type of birth does not include any labor-inducing drugs and happens naturally.
- Induced birth – This type of birth includes labor-inducing drugs in order to initiate labor.
- Assisted birth – This type of birth includes forceps or a vacuum device to birth your baby through the vagina.
A vaginal birth is easier when compared to a C-section. With a vaginal delivery comes many benefits to a mother. There are a couple of pros that come along if you are going forward with a vaginal delivery.
Pros of Vaginal Delivery
- You have to stay in the hospital for a minimum of days.
- You recover faster when compared to a C-section.
- You can breastfeed as soon as possible since the recovery rate is faster.
- You are not prone to the risks associated with surgery, such as heavy bleeding, wounds, scarring, and pain from surgical incisions.
- You do not need strong painkillers to reduce pain after birth.
- You will be able to have a skin to skin contact with your baby right after it is born. This step is important as it strengthens the bonding between the mother and the baby.
- Your baby born through natural birth is more likely to develop a stronger immune system.
- You will have fewer complications if you decide to have more children in the future.
Vaginal delivery is more likely to leave the mothers with a positive impression of the labor and delivery process. However, childbirth is still a painful process, and there are some cons associated with a vaginal delivery as well.
Cons of Vaginal Delivery
- You may tear up around the vaginal opening during the birth process. This may need stitches for you to heal.
- You may have incontinence after a vaginal delivery. Incontinence refers to involuntary urination.
- You might excessively bleed after childbirth, which can be life-threatening. This is known as a hemorrhage, and it is a rare condition.
- Your baby might get injured during the process if it is too large.
- You might get pain in the space between your vagina and the anus.
A vaginal delivery still takes time to recover, but compared to a C-section, the recovery time is less. Vaginal birth is also painful as you may have to spend hours in active labor for your cervix to dilate for the birthing process. So, there is no doubt that vaginal delivery also comes with cons as well as pros.
Deciding whether to have a vaginal delivery or not solely depends on your health, your baby’s health as well as your preference. If you have no reason to go through a C-section, you can still opt for one based on your preference. However, there are certain situations where you are unable to have a natural birth due the complications. In these situations, you will have to face a planned C-section. In certain complications, you may need an immediate C-section, even if it is unplanned.
When not to have a Vaginal Delivery?
- Suppose you have a breech baby. Breech baby implies that your baby’s feet are closest to your vagina and not it’s head. In a situation like this, you will be advised to go for a C-section by your doctor or midwife.
- If you have a serious health issue or a chronic illness.
- Suppose you have an issue associated with your placenta, such as placenta previa. Placenta previa means that your placenta partially or fully covers your cervix. A vaginal delivery is not recommended in a situation like this, as it will cause excessive bleeding. This will be deadly for both mother and the baby.
- If you have more than one baby, it might be recommended by your healthcare provider not to have a vaginal delivery.
- If you have had a C-section before, your doctor might recommend a C-section.
- Suppose you have a genital herpes infection during the time of labor. In a case such as this, it is possible for the virus to transfer to the baby during vaginal birth.
Unless you are facing these situations, you can easily opt for a natural vaginal delivery as it is easier and less risky compared to a C-section. You will still face some pain during the process, but you will have several pain management options when you are in labor, such as an epidural. Make sure to discuss and plan the birthing process with your healthcare providers for a more comfortable and risk-free vaginal delivery process. Vaginal delivery undoubtedly comes along with pros and cons. However, going under the knife is not only risky but scary as well, so if you are able to decide which way to give birth, a vaginal delivery is highly recommended.