C (Cesarean) Section vs. Normal Delivery- What is the Best Option?
C-section (caesarean section) and normal delivery (vaginal delivery) are the two methods of childbirth. Here are some differences between the two:
- Method of Delivery: A C-section is a surgical procedure in which a baby is delivered by making an incision in the mother’s abdomen and uterus, while in a normal delivery, the baby is delivered through the mother’s birth canal.
- Recovery Time: A C-section is a major surgery and requires a longer recovery time compared to normal delivery. Women who have a C-section typically stay in the hospital for a longer period of time, and may require more postpartum care and support.
- Pain and Discomfort: Women who have a C-section may experience more pain and discomfort during the recovery period, while women who have a normal delivery may experience pain and discomfort during labor and delivery but typically recover more quickly after delivery.
- Risks and Complications: A C-section carries a higher risk of complications compared to a normal delivery, including infection, bleeding, and blood clots. However, a normal delivery carries its own set of risks, such as perineal tears or other birth-related injuries.
- Timing of Delivery: In some cases, a C-section may be scheduled in advance if the pregnancy is high-risk or if there are concerns about the health of the mother or baby. A normal delivery typically occurs when labor begins naturally, although induction of labor may be required in some cases.
What is cesarean section?
It is a surgical procedure of childbirth which involves an incision which is made on the abdominal wall and continues through penetrating the uterus to take out the baby. It is a preferred method of child delivery when normal delivery is not considered to be safe for the mother.
There are two types of cesarean section.
- Lower segment caesarean section
- Classical caesarean section
- Lower segment caesarean section – in this surgical procedure, the incision is made in the lower segment of the uterus to extract the baby . Majority of caesarean sections that are performed nowadays are lower segment cesarean section because it is more comfortable in post-operative stage and less chance of wound leakage and further infections and complications.4,
- Classical caesarean section – it is the oldest method of caesarean section in which the incision is made in the upper segment of the uterus to extract the baby. Nowadays doctors do not prefer this procedure as it is risky. This surgical procedure is risky because it triggers the chances of infection more than LSCS (lower segment cesarean section) and the scars of this operative procedure is more liable to rupture. That’s why, nowadays it is hardly performed by any doctors in any medical setup.
What is normal delivery?
Normal delivery is a natural process of child birth which is a spontaneous process and doesn’t involve any external stimulator to accelerate the phenomena. It is the most safest way of delivering the baby into the world. According to the WHO report , approximately 70-80% women who go through normal delivery of child birth process are at low risk than others.
What are the advantages and drawbacks of cesarean section?
There are lots of advantages as well as disadvantages of cesarean section like any other surgical procedure , and those are –
- For mothers
- You can plan your baby’s birth in advance .
- The mother can avoid the pain and stresses of labour.
- The mother will not face any such problem in sexual intercourse after the cesarean section procedure of child delivery.
- There are very less chances of transmitting the infections from mother to baby like Hepatitis B virus and all.
- Lower the risk of developing pelvic prolapses and urinary incontinence.
- For baby
- It results in the chance of developing no trauma to the baby which they develop during vaginal birth.
- It reduces the chance of injury to the baby.
- It lowers the risk of developing abnormal conditions to the baby.
Drawbacks of the caesarean section –
- For the mothers –
- The mother may develop complications due to administration anaesthesia.
- The mother may develop infection on the wound site.
- The risk of recurring cesarean section in the upcoming pregnancies.
- For the baby –
There is risk of developing fluid formation in the lungs of the baby which results in breathing problems to the baby .
What are the advantages of normal vaginal delivery?
- For the mother –
- It’s a natural process , no external stimulator is required. Good for mother’s health if there is no complication like high BP, high blood sugar level or any other complications.
- It helps in natural processing of milk outcome after delivering the baby, which is called colostrum. It helps in establishing skin to skin contact of mother and baby.
- It promises faster recovery as compared to the caesarean section.
- For the baby –
- During normal vaginal delivery the baby gets the exposure of many good bacterias of vagina which is beneficial for the baby’s brain, immunity and digestive health . It also helps in preventing several infections.
- In the womb baby’s lungs are filled with fluid and if after birth fluid remains there in the lungs then it is called transient tachypnea of the newborn. But , if the baby is delivered through vagina then there are less chances or no chance of developing the disease said above because the vaginal canal puts the pressure over the baby’s chest to release the extra fluid.
What are the potential drawbacks of the normal vaginal delivery?
For the mother –
- Severe pain – the mother experiences severe pain while giving birth to the baby , it feels like breaking 206 bones in one time.
For the baby –
- There are very less chances of developing complications during vaginal delivery. In rare cases there could be difficulties( like too large-baby for gestational age, prolonged delivery and difficult birth etc.)
FAQs C Section vs. Normal Delivery
Here are some frequently asked questions about C-section and normal delivery:
- Is a C-section more painful than a normal delivery?
A C-section is a surgical procedure that requires anesthesia and carries a risk of pain and discomfort during the recovery period. However, pain and discomfort can also occur during a normal delivery, and the experience can vary from person to person.
- Can I choose to have a C-section or normal delivery?
In most cases, the method of delivery is determined by the healthcare provider based on individual circumstances and medical need. However, in some cases, such as in the case of a previous C-section or other high-risk situations, a woman may have the option to choose the method of delivery after discussing the risks and benefits with her healthcare provider.
- How long does it take to recover from a C-section vs. normal delivery?
Recovery time for a C-section is typically longer compared to a normal delivery. Women who have a C-section may stay in the hospital for a few days and may require more postpartum care and support. Recovery time for a normal delivery varies from person to person but is generally shorter compared to a C-section.
- Can I breastfeed after a C-section or normal delivery?
Yes, both C-section and normal delivery mothers can breastfeed their babies. In some cases, breastfeeding may be more challenging after a C-section due to pain and discomfort during the recovery period, but support from a lactation consultant or healthcare provider can be helpful.
- Is a C-section always necessary if the baby is breech?
No, a C-section is not always necessary if the baby is breech. In some cases, a healthcare provider may attempt to turn the baby to a head-down position or may attempt a vaginal delivery with the baby in the breech position, depending on individual circumstances and medical need.