Why do some women opt to have a cesarean section rather than a vaginal birth? Is this choice more about convenience, need or some other reason?  Both procedures have their risks and their benefits depending on the patient. In most cases, a vaginal birth is the best and healthiest for mother and baby. However, there are those times where having a vaginal birth could mean death for mom or child or severe medical consequences for either.  In the latter cases, women are often advised to have cesareans.

For many years, babies were delivered via vaginal birth or more commonly known as birth canal delivery. During this time, death during childbirth was the leading cause of death among women in childbearing age. Another common problem in the pre-cesarean period was breech births. Experienced midwives and doctors often reached in the birth canal to turn the baby in cases of breech births. This method sometimes work and sometimes not. There were also times when the child is just way too large for the mother to dilate or the pelvis did not soften during the time of delivery. The mother and child both suffered in these cases.

It is a good thing that things have also changed with the way women deliver their child. Cesarean sections are given when the situation is not safe for the baby or mother to have a vaginal birth. With this procedure, the mother is wide-awake (usually) so that she can report any changes or discomfort that she is experiencing during the operation.

There are several reasons why a doctor may choose to do a c-section during delivery. First is fetal distress. This happens when the heart rate of the baby drops while the mother is under contraction. One cause of fetal distress is when the baby is turned the wrong way or the umbilical cord was wrapped around the baby’s neck making the oxygen and blood supply being cut off.

Another situation is when the baby is too large for the birth canal. This normally happens to women with small bone structure or narrow pelvis. This can also happen when the pelvis did not soften which makes it difficult if not impossible for the baby to be pushed out naturally. During this situation, the baby’s head could be staying too long in the birth canal, cutting off his oxygen. This could lead to brain damage.

In today’s world, women and doctors also schedule c-sections so that the delivery fits nicely into their schedule.  As vaginal delivery is for the most part, unpredictable, having a scheduled c-section is not.

Vaginal Birth

Most babies are delivered by this method. Unless the doctor makes a decision to use the cesarean section, this is the most common way of delivering a baby. Here are some things you need to know about vaginal birth.

  • There are lesser chances of infection both for the mother and child
  • The mother spends less time in the hospital
  • There will be shorter time of recuperation
  • Less blood loss
  • There is a possibility of bowel or urinary incontinence

Since vaginal birth is the natural way to deliver children, there is usually no problem delivering via vaginal birth as long as the mother has no problems with her pelvis, or other medical conditions.

Cesarean Birth

A C-section is a major surgical procedure, which means there is a chance of death. Your doctor will go over all of the risks before you undergo this procedure. A c-section could run anywhere from $10, 000 to $30, 000 depending on how complicated the procedure is for any one particular patient. Because it is a major surgery, there could be some other complications associated with the procedure such as:

  • The mother may experience excessive bleeding
  • More chances of infection
  • The tissues on the abdominal wall may be scarred
  • Longer stay in the hospital and healing period
  • Bowel issues or problems can be experienced

Volunteer cesarean sections are not common unlike the emergency cesarean sections, but they are on the rise. As mentioned before, both doctors and mothers like the idea of scheduling an exact time of birth. Second pregnancy after cesarean section will most likely be delivered via c-section also. This is less risky for the mother unless the doctor has declared that she can deliver by vaginal birth.

If you think that having a cesarean section is more convenient, you should first do thorough research of all the risks involved for both you and baby. Then, make an informed decision.