We are bombarded in gossip magazines and other popular culture media with reports of women who are “too posh to push” and have an elective caesarean delivery rather than giving birth normally. Furthermore, it is a statistical fact that when a woman goes into labour, the more medical professionals intervene, the more likely it is she will end up having a c section delivery. And, because we live in a society of great medical advances, more and more intervention is needed hence the numbers of sections actually go up. If you have a choice, would you go for a normal delivery or a c section delivery? Let’s review the arguments.
There are pros and cons to every argument, so let’s look at the normal delivery benefits first:
• It is much less likely that there are problems with the baby or problems with the mother following delivery.
• It is empowering for women to be able to have a normal birth.
• It is something that women across the world have been doing for thousands of years.
So what about the downsides? The normal delivery disadvantages include:
• It hurts like mad!
• It leaves many women without the littlest shred of dignity.
• If a normal birth goes wrong, for either mother or baby, it goes seriously wrong and it can take too long to intervene.
Overall, however, it is medically known that a natural birth is better for mother and baby.
C Section Delivery
It is important to first recognise that not every caesarean delivery is elective. There are situations in which women have to have a section, for instance if they have had a classical section in the past, or if they have a history of traumatic deliveries. Not all women who have a section, in other words, are too posh to push.
So what are the pros and cons of a section? In terms of the c section benefits:
• There is no need for hours of labour.
• The baby does not have to go through the birth canal, which some believe is a painful and traumatic experience.
In terms of c section cons, however:
• A c section birth is major surgery, which requires many months of recovery. It can be quite hard for a woman to look after her baby properly for the first few weeks, because she has difficulties lifting the baby. C section recovery can take up as much as six months.
• The scar after a section is permanent and can lead to nerve damage.
• Internal scarring can lead to serious IBS.
• The risk of complications, including MRSA, is much higher than with a normal delivery.
• Other c section side effects include a greater risk of post natal depression and postpartum psychosis.
It should be quite clear that the cons greatly outweigh the c section pros.
So Which One Should You Choose?
Any doctor, midwife or other professional will tell any woman that if they did have a choice, they should always opt for a natural delivery. The risks following major surgery are simply too great and the consequences of this surgery are far worse than many women think about. Nerve damage and IBS can be highly problematic and these are likely consequences for a section. Also, if one c section birth has been had, it is far more likely that a woman will need a further section with any future children, which increases the risk of something going wrong. Last but not least, most medical professionals recommend that a woman does not have more than three sections in her lifetime, meaning that it may become impossible to have any further children.