When considering a natural birth or a cesarean section, expectant mothers must be fully aware of the potential risks and benefits of these forms of childbirth. The following is an overview comparing the two, detailing the recovery process and the possible dangers.
When the pregnancy has progressed normally and there is no apparent threat to mother or baby, a natural birth is the preferred method of childbirth for most women. During birth, the mother is an active participant and is able to experience the full birthing process as the baby is pushed through the birth canal. Women can also begin breastfeeding after a natural birth, which helps to strengthen the immediate bond between mother and child. Many women often feel empowered after the birthing experience.
Most women stay in the hospital for one to two days after this type of birth and frequently experience a faster recovery time with less pain postpartum in comparison to a cesarean section. Babies born naturally typically have a lower risk of respiratory problems and are less likely to develop persistent pulmonary hypertension. These births are also more cost-effective, while mothers are at a reduced risk of hemorrhaging, internal organ damage and blood clots.
During a cesarean section, an incision is made through the abdomen and uterus as the baby is manually removed from the womb. In comparison to a natural birth, a cesarean section is considered to be a major surgery and presents with complications such as an adverse reaction to anesthesia, infections, injuries to internal organs and increased risk of hemorrhaging. The time spent in the hospital after delivery is usually longer and can last longer than four days.
While breastfeeding is certainly a possibility after this type of delivery, there are often a few obstacles to overcome, including finding a comfortable position and delayed milk production. This can cause a potential delay in the bonding process. In most cases, a cesarean section costs nearly twice as much as a vaginal birth. The recovery time is also extended, as women often experience pain and discomfort around their incision. Infants delivered via this method are at an increased risk for persistent pulmonary hypertension and respiratory difficulties.
When comparing the risks and benefits surrounding a natural birth and cesarean section, a natural birth will typically have a shorter hospital stay and recovery time, in addition to reduced risks for both mother and baby. This also enhances the interactions that a mother has with her child, which may be delayed with a cesarean section. While there are more benefits associated with a natural birth, this isn't always ideal in some cases. Women should speak with their healthcare provider for additional information regarding a natural birth or a cesarean section.