There are two ways in which the baby can be delivered: vaginal birth or C-Section.
The doctors are the ones who decide which of these two deliveries would be the best for the mother and the child.
Pros for mother:
Going through labor and decision to have vaginal delivery is quite long process that for some women is physically grueling and incredibly hard work. Still, one of the many benefits of having a vaginal birth is that the time spent in hospital and recovery time are much shorter in comparison with a C-section.
Although the laws vary from state to state, usually the hospital stay for a woman who had vaginal delivery is between 24 and 48 hours. But, if the mother is feeling well, she has the option to elect to leave the hospital sooner than the allowable time period permitted in her state, says Bryant for Live Science.
Those women who decide for vaginal birth avoid major and complicated surgery and its associated risks, including severe bleeding, scarring, infections, reactions to anesthesia and some other longer-lasting pain. Due to the fact that the mother will be less woozy from surgery, she is able to hold her baby and begin breastfeeding sooner after she delivers.
Pros for baby:
The advantage for the baby of vaginal delivery is that the mother will have earlier contact with her baby unlike woman who has undergone surgery, and she can initiate breastfeeding sooner, said Bryant.
During vaginal delivery, there are high chances that the muscles involved in the process to squeeze out fluid found in a newborn’s lungs, which is very beneficial as it makes babies less likely to suffer for any breathing problems at birth. Additionally, babies who were born vaginally receive an early dose of good bacteria as a result of the travel through the mother’s birth canal, which actually will boost the immune system and thus will protect the intestinal tracts.
Cons for mother:
During vaginal delivery, there is a risk the skin and tissues that are located around the vagina to stretch and tear while the fetus moves through the birth canal. Woman may need stitches if that stretching and tearing is severe, or that even may cause weakness or injury to pelvic muscles that control her urine and bowel function.
There are studies that have found that those women who have vaginal delivery have high chances to have problems with bowel or urinary incontinence, apart from women who have had C-sections. Moreover, they also are more prone to leak urine when they cough, sneeze or laugh.
After a vaginal delivery, some women experience lingering pain in the perineum, which is area between her vagina and anus.
Cons for baby:
In case if the woman has had a long labor or if the baby is large and is delivered vaginally, there is possibility for the baby to get injured during the birth process itself. According to the Stanford School of Medicine the baby may have bruised scalp or a fractured collarbone.
Pros for mother:
If a woman is eligible to have a vaginal delivery, there are only few advantages to decide for C-section.
On the other hand, if the pregnant woman knows that C-section is necessary, the surgical birth can be scheduled in advance, which will make it more convenient and predictable unlike vaginal birth and going through a long labor.
Cons for mother:
Women who has had a C-section usually stay in the hospital longer, on average two to four days, in comparison with woman who has a vaginal delivery.
The C-section increases the risk for woman to have more physical complaints following delivery, including pain at the site of the incision and longer-lasting soreness.
The C-section actually is surgery, and patients who are undergoing surgery are at increased risk of blood loss and a greater risk of infection. Moreover, there is possibility the bowel or bladder to be injured during the operation or a blood clot may form.
As review study had discovered, women who have had C-section are less likely to begin early breastfeeding copmared to women who had a vaginal birth.
Woman usually have more pain and discomfort in the abdomen, so the recovery period after delivering is also longer. The reason for the pain is as the skin and nerves surrounding the surgical scar need time to heal, at least two months.
According to one French study, women are three times more likely to die during Caesarean delivery than a vaginal birth. The reason for that mostly are blood clots, infections and complications from anesthesia.
If the woman once has had her first C-section, it is more likely to have a C-section in all future deliveries. In addition to that, she may be at greater risk of future pregnancy complications. For instance, uterine rupture is condition when the C-section scar in the uterus ruptures and placenta abnormalities. Medical experts explain that the risk for placenta problems increases with every C-section the woman has.
Cons for baby:
Babies who are born with Caesarean section are more likely to have problems with breathing at birth and even during childhood, like asthma. Additionally, they are at greater risk for stillbirth.
During a C-section, for the babies there is small risk to get nicked during the surgery. According to the latest studies, there is connection between babies delivered by C-section and greater risk of becoming obese as children. However, the reasons for that remain unclear. Namely, one of the possibilities is that mother is obese or has pregnancy-related diabetes and it is more likely to has a C-section.