Why normal delivery is the best for a mom and child?
Why is it better than a C-section?
How does a vaginal delivery benefit you and your baby?
Does having a C-section put your or your baby’s health at risk?
Recently I came across an article regarding the shocking increase in the number of CDMRs. That is one reason why I choose to write this article.
Wonder what a CDMR is?
CDMR is Cesarean Delivery on Maternal Request. That is, in this case, a cesarean delivery is done on the request of the mother even when medically there is no need for a C-section.
Why do some women go for a CDMR?
The main reason, which makes many women request a C-section, is the fear of the excruciating pain accompanying a vaginal birth.
A preconception that C-sections are easier and less painful for moms and the advantage that they cause less damage to the pelvic floor also act as reasons encouraging women to opt for an elective cesarean delivery.
Other reasons for a CDMR are the option to preschedule the delivery date and plan everything accordingly.
While C-section has its own benefits, I strongly believe that it is not something to be decided by the to-be-parents. The way a child has to be born is to be decided by a doctor based on the health condition of the mother and the child.
This article is my attempt to spread awareness on why normal delivery is the best for you and your baby than a CDMR.
Why normal delivery is the best for you and your Baby?
All mammals deliver vaginally and we humans are no exception. That is the way nature has built us and wants us to do.
Below is a list of benefits that a baby and a mother can get from a normal delivery.
Benefits of normal delivery for baby
#1. Babies come when they’re ready
How many of you have delivered exactly on the due date calculated by your doctor? Not many I guess. Mine came 10 days early and I know friends who delivered days after the due date. So who knows exactly when your baby is fully matured to come out of the comforts of the womb into this world? Only the baby!!
So, if labor starts naturally, then you know that your child is fully developed and is ready to be born. The baby’s lungs and other major organs have finished maturing and your baby is able to survive without any medical interventions if born naturally.
A baby delivered surgically could be at risk for prematurity, especially if there is a miscalculation in the due date.
(Yes, I agree there are premature natural deliveries too. But the majority of the babies born via vagina complete their term inside the womb. )
#2. Babies born vaginally receive protective bacteria
One of the benefits of normal delivery is that when babies are born vaginally, they pick up the protective bacteria called microbiome from their moms as they pass through the birth canal. These bacteria are helpful in building a strong immune system and help to protect the child from many illnesses.
#3. Lowered risk of respiratory problems
While passing through the vaginal canal, the compression of the baby’s thorax helps to expel the amniotic fluid. Also when natural labor is triggered, the various hormones released help clear the fluids from the baby’s lungs. Both help to prepare the lungs to breathe air naturally without medical intervention. This considerably decreases the risk of respiratory problems in newborns.
#4. Baby gets to breastfeed without much delay
In a normal delivery, the very first breastfeeding is not delayed much. Breastfeeding at the earliest has its own advantages. Plus the newborn’s urge to suck is the strongest in the first couple of hours after birth and the feeding section at the earliest helps the baby to latch properly.
When mothers deliver via C-section, breastfeeding is often delayed. This is because they need some extra time to recover from the surgery. Physically too the mom may struggle to hold and nurse the new baby after the surgery. This is because mothers who have had surgical deliveries often find it difficult to find a comfortable position to nurse without putting pressure on their incision.
#5. No side effects of anesthesia
While there is no much evidence, anesthesia given to the mother during a C-section can affect the baby too.
#6. Better APGAR score
Babies born vaginally have a better APGAR score. As a C-section lacks natural stimulation and involves anesthesia, it can result in a lower APGAR score. Babies born via cesarean are 50% more likely to have lower APGAR scores than those born naturally.
Benefits of vaginal birth for the Mother
#7. Quick recovery
The recovery from a natural birth is almost immediate. Generally, a mother can stand up and care for herself and her baby without much assistance. Of course, some women have to undergo an episiotomy during vaginal birth but the recovery is easier and doesn’t need much bed rest.
A C-section may take up to six weeks to heal completely while episiotomy with proper care gets healed within 2 weeks.
#8. Shorter hospital stays
If the natural birth was in a hospital, the mother can be discharged soon after the birth. This has financial benefits also.
C-sections require at least 3-4 days stay at the hospital.
#9. Lesser postpartum pain
Postpartum pain is also lesser in a normal delivery, as you don’t have any big incision to be healed.
#10. Can start traditional postpartum care immediately
Postpartum care is something that most of us Indians follow. A good message with traditional oils, hot baths, belly binding, special postnatal foods, and various herbal preparations are part of our traditional postpartum care. This helps new moms to regain the lost strength, bounce back to shape, decrease back pain and increase milk production.
A vaginal delivery doesn’t pause any limitations on starting traditional postpartum care. Most of the women practice postpartum care usually 3-4 days post-delivery. But when you are having a C-section, the incision on your tummy restricts you from having all these postpartum care procedures that we consider essential for the future physical well-being of the mother. Mostly traditional postpartum care starts only after the surgical wound is fully healed.
#11. Lower maternal mortality rates
Problems can arise in any birthing incident. But compared to C-section, vaginal birth has lower maternal mortality rates. A C-section is a major abdominal surgery and so complications associated with it are also more.
#12. No risk of post-operative infections or complications
Vaginal birth considerably reduces the chances of infections and complications for the mother.
Women having C-sections often have an infection in the wound, infection in the lining of the uterus, and urinary tract infections. There are cases of adhesion, sticking together of the internal organs, too in the case of C-sections.
#13. No anesthesia side effects
Normal delivery doesn’t involve anesthesia and so has no risks caused by anesthesia as in a C-section. Anesthesia given can cause lowering of blood pressure, nausea, headache, and confusion, and in unfortunate cases even nerve damages and aspiration during surgery.
#14. Natural delivery doesn’t affect future pregnancies
Since you had your child vaginally, there is no scar left over from a C-section. This means your further deliveries will have zero risks of tearing any uterine scars from a previous delivery.
The risks of having a placental previa also increase if your previous pregnancy was a C-section.
Women having had one cesarean are more likely to have another cesarean in future pregnancies. But there are cases of normal delivery after C-section too popularly known as VBAC.
#15. Less blood loss or hemorrhage
Blood loss during C-section is much more compared to that for a vaginal delivery. Often blood transfusion is required during a C-section.
#16. Sense of accomplishment
As the women who have vaginal deliveries get to go through every stage of labor and delivery, they develop a sense of accomplishment. Women who have normal delivery are extremely empowered and feel much more confident and are at lower risk of having postpartum depression.
Scientists are uncovering more and more benefits of normal delivery, proving over and over that nature’s way is still the best.
But do keep in mind that if there is a medical condition or obstetrical reason and your doctor chooses delivery via cesarean section, then C-section is safer for you than normal delivery.
If you are healthy and capable of a normal delivery, then it is definitely the most practical and advantageous way for giving birth to your little one. So as far as possible choose a normal vaginal birth over a CDMR.
I hope this article helped you to understand why normal delivery is the best for you and your baby both physically and mentally.
Did you have a vaginal delivery or C-section? What difficulties did you face? C section or natural birth which is better in your opinion?
Will you opt for a Cesarean Delivery on Maternal Request after knowing the benefits of vaginal birth? If yes, why?
Let us know in the comments.