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The act of giving life through childbirth is a true blessing, and many women would not trade this experience for anything in the world, that is for sure — because they walk away from the experience with a new baby. However, when it comes to choosing a method for delivery, women’s opinions are divided based on their personal preferences, preconceptions, their medical needs, and for some, based on their previous labor and delivery experiences.
Vaginal Delivery: Our default Option
From the beginning of times, women have been giving birth vaginally and because a natural, intervention-free vaginal birth is simply what happens in the absence of other steps, it's kind of the default.
For some women, the primality of vaginal birth makes the experience much more meaningful and rewarding. In some way, we could say that the beauty of vaginal delivery comes from the fact that through its port of entry does the baby exit. And despite the pain of labor and all the other negative feelings that a woman would experience when the time to deliver is nigh, it ends up being worth the road.
Health Benefits of Vaginal Delivery
Vaginal delivery comes with several advantages. First of all, you are an active part of the experience: you push, so the baby could be delivered, and your effort will give you an indescribable sense of reward at the end. Secondly, you know for sure that you will not have to deal with all the pre-operative and intra-operative procedures, and while you are at it you could even pass on the post-operative complications.
Because you are back on your feet much earlier, you will have more time to bond with your child immediately (holding, touching, cuddling, breastfeeding, etc.), a privilege that you wouldn’t get following a cesarean delivery (given that for the first 18 hours, you might be resting, sleeping, and recovering from surgery.
Some other health benefits of vaginal delivery include a lower risk of infections for the fetus, and lower risk of respiratory problems.
However, many women would still opt for a cesarean delivery, and this for several reasons. For some, it is by fear of all the complications associated with vaginal birth such as urinary incontinence, perineal tearing, and temporary decrease in sexual function, just to name a few. Even though the majority of cesarean deliveries are by choice, sometimes they are medically indicated.
When Cesarean delivery is necessary
Although the majority of deliveries by cesarean are elective (which means there is no medical need, nor even a medical recommendation, and it is only by choice, there are few essential and critical cases in which cesarean delivery is absolutely necessary, and these include:
- When the life of the mother is compromised: sometimes, the pregnancy is extremely strenuous on the body and the mother is unable to go into labor. When such situation is detected, the doctor would recommend a cesarean delivery, given that the life of the mother might be at risk. Additionally, in pregnancies complicated by gestational diabetes, pregnancy induced hypertension, pre-eclampsia or eclampsia, the life of the mother could be at risk and there might be further complications during natural labor, which is why a cesarean delivery might be indicated.