The Benefits Of A Cesarean Section Delivery

There are admittedly many risks attached to the delivery of a baby by Cesarean Section, and proponents of natural or vaginal delivery do tend to highlight those at all given opportunities; however there are many benefits to a C section delivery as well, which are important to be aware of so that a woman can make an informed decision about an elective C Section if she so wishes:

Safety: Yes a cesarean birth is a major abdominal surgery and it involves all the risks associated with that, however medical science is now so advanced as to lower the risk so significantly that women can consider elective C Section birth.labor pains

C sections are now much safer than they used to be, and with them becoming more routine, surgeons are more skilled at this than ever before.

No Labor pain: Labor pains can be a very real downside to a vaginal delivery. Since labor pains can extend over a long period of time, it can be a harrowingly difficult and painful time for a woman.

There is of course the pain of an abdominal surgery to overcome, but after the first few days the pain is very manageable in most cases. Remember even in a vaginal delivery there is usually an episiotomy performed so there are those stitches to deal with.

In any case proponents of a C section will tell you that with this form of delivery you know the amount and duration of pain, whereas with a vaginal delivery you don’t know how long and severe your labor will be.

You can be conscious throughout and not have to suffer any pain of delivery. Post delivery issues like hemorrhoids etc are also not an issue with a C section.

Dignity and Privacy: A vaginal delivery is not the most private of things, with doctors and nurses milling around to check how dilated you are, and you being in a less than flattering position for any number of hours. A C section is over in a matter of some minutes.

No trauma for the child: Coming through the birth canal is quite an arduous process for a baby, who often comes out with an elongated or slightly misshapen head. In a C section the child is simply lifted out and has to undergo none of the rigors of a vaginal delivery. This is something to be considered too.

You can schedule the delivery: Proponents of natural childbirth generally are of the view that it is a process that should happen in due course rather than something you schedule, but this has to be a personal choice that a woman should be permitted to make without having to deal with guilt.

Some of the Medical Sources:

http://www.osteodoc.com/birthtrauma.htm

http://www.osteohome.com/articles/Birth_Trauma.pdf

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Note: The purport of this post is to offer another angle to the Cesarean Section delivery. There is a lot of material out there on the internet, that can scare a woman into eschewing the option of a C Section and also make her feel guilty about opting for something that should rightly be a choice available to her without complications of fear and guilt.

This was not meant to be a learned piece filled with scientific and medical data, merely an anecdotal piece written by one of our writers who has undergone two C section deliveries and who wanted to highlight her positive experiences with the procedure.

This piece is in no way meant to belittle or in any way try to disparage the primacy and value of a natural vaginal delivery; merely to present a point of view that is not commonly expressed and which we feel that women have the right to hear as well.

Since this post has also invited a plethora of negative comments we shall also be replying to all of these comments to try and to give factual and medical citations to support the claims that the author of this article has made.

100 COMMENTS

  1. “Coming through the birth canal is quite an arduous process for a baby, who often comes out with an elongated or slightly misshapen head.”

    Have we considered that perhaps these “traumas” for the child in a vaginal birth are an important and intended part of how we are designed to birth/be born? Did our designer make a mistake?

    Babies’ heads are designed to be molded and squished in birth and the baby benefits from the rhythmic contractions and last squeeze in being born vaginally. The contractions stimulate the baby and fluids are squished out of belly and lungs in the “fetal heimlich” as the body is birthed. These functions are there for a reason! Why deprive your child of these important benefits if you can avoid a cesarean?

  2. And to add, insurance companies are starting to not cover moms who have had a previous cesarean section:

    As of 2007, 31.8% of childbearing women in the United States had a cesarean delivery and the rate continues to increase each year. These increases are due, in part, to the growing number of women who are denied the opportunity to have a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) through similarly discriminatory VBAC bans. “The prospect of rendering a third of women uninsurable is frightening and unconscionable,” said Desirre Andrews, President of ICAN. “Many of these women are being pressured or bullied into first-time and repeat cesareans, and to doubly inflict them by leaving them without health insurance is offensive.” Clearly this type of practice potentially affects a very large number of women now and in the future as the cesarean rate continues to climb and the vaginal birth after cesarean rate continues to decline.
    http://www.theunnecesarean.com/blog/2009/10/16/stories-of-discriminatory-insurance-practices-needed-by-ican.html

    So please add this when being so blatant about cesarean sections being a fine alternative birth option.

  3. I have experienced two c-sections, and three vaginal births. Women who need c-sections should feel NO GUILT whatsoever. There are many downsides to c-sections, but they are absolutely worth it if that is what is necessary to have a healthy baby.

    It is absolutely true that c-sections are MUCH safer than they were in the past. Because doctors in the US perform SO MANY c-sections (more than 30% of births), they have plenty of practice, and have developed techniques to make the surgery itself, and subsequent pregnancies safer than before. While no one disputes that vaginal birth is unequivocally the safest birth for healthy moms and babies, moms who require a c-section should rest assured that doctors and nurses do everything possible to ensure that both mothers and babies recover from surgery as well as possible.

    I also agree that the lack of labor pain is a real benefit with a c-section. Once my anesthesiologist adjusted the epidural I never felt any pain during the actual surgery. (It is NOT normal to feel any pain during the surgery. If you do, speak up right away! Sometimes the epidural will need to be increased, and your doctor will have no way of knowing unless you tell him.)

    It is also true that c-section pain is much easier to predict than labor pain. While the lengths of my labors varied widely — the longest was 24 hours and the shortest was 45 minutes — both of my c-section recoveries were the same. Within 24 hours I was able to stand and walk with assistance. Within a couple of days I could move from laying down to sitting up without assistance, and within a week I could do that with little pain. By two weeks I was out of bed and able to care for my baby on my own, though my doctor still advised taking it easy.

    The one area where I absolutely must disagree with the author is on the issue of c-sections being “less traumatic” for the baby. I can understand why someone might think that being lifted from the womb would be better for a baby than being squeezed through the birth canal, but this is simply medically untrue. As the poster before me mentioned, this process helps a baby to begin breathing and is only beneficial. This is actually one of the downsides of a c-section, though it bears repeating that such downsides are worth it if necessary to protect your baby’s health.

    I’d like to offer a few recommendations on c-sections:

    * A mom is most likely to be happy with her c-section if she is absolutely certain that it is best for both her and her baby. If you are not certain whether you need a c-section, the third point on this page gives a list of indications for c-section birth:
    http://ican-online.org/pregnancy/cesarean-fact-sheet

    * Schedule your c-section for as late in pregnancy as possible. The March of Dimes recommends waiting until at least 39 weeks to reduce the risk of problems associated with being born too early:
    http://www.marchofdimes.com/pnhec/240_48590.asp

    * Speak to your doctor about the type of incision he plans to use. Almost all doctors use a low transverse incision these days (with possible exceptions in an emergency). Compared to a classical c-section, a low transverse c-section is safer for future pregnancies and safer for future vaginal births.

    * While breastfeeding can be more difficult after a c-section it is NOT impossible. Both of my sons born by c-section were exclusively breastfed until they started solid foods. Make sure you let the hospital know that you plan to breastfeed, and that you want your baby brought to you as soon as possible after birth. Instruct the nurses not to give your baby formula or sugar water. Likely your baby will not be interested in formula anyway, due to the effects of anesthesia. If your baby is not interested in nursing right away, be patient, ask for a lactation consultant, and keep trying. 🙂

  4. I can’t believe this. Are you serious???? Maybe your just trying to make the 31% who do have a section feel better or something?

  5. cesearean section is a vital medical tool applied to emergency situations. the more women that think that it is acceptable to elect to c-section for non-emergencies leads to a situation were serious life skills (ie birthing skills) are lost. why are you promoting this for such no valid reasons?

  6. @Shay, when you say “Maybe your just trying to make the 31% who do have a section feel better or something?” what is so wrong with letting women feel less awful, less guilty about having a C section? Or must you continue to beat up women for having dared to make a choice that they may have felt compelled to make for any number of different reasons?

  7. Oh, and by the way, with my vaginal babies who were over 9 pounds, I did not have episiotomies and I did not tear either. I felt very little pain afterwards, where as with my c-section the incision area hurt for over a year!

  8. This article is really useful. I was searching over the internet about this issue. My wife and I love how it looks and we are looking further to investigate more about this. We are just twitting this site to let all our friends know about it. Thanks and keep the good writing.

  9. – i am 20 yrs old. i have two daughters that i delivered vaginally. im 8 mnths pregnant now and have to have a c section for this child due to health related issues on my behalf. after reading numerous articles online for the last hour about the risks of c section deliveries, im literally in tears scared!! this article gave me some relief and comfort towards some of the benefits of c sections. which none of the websites i came across provided. so thank you.

  10. i have had two kids and no episiotomys i think this article is crap if you have to have a c-section fine but dont opt for one because your too lazy to deliver your own baby! take a parenting class, learn about labor and delivery and you will do just fine with a vaginal birth!

  11. C section is fine. Listen to your real, live dr. and not the internet nor most likely obese American women freaking out over what is “natural” or not. Is it natural to have a huge vagina?

  12. Thanks a lot everyone- Now I’m even more confused. Who’s trying to look after each other and who’s just after a new member for their faffy pregnancy bulldust club? Guess I ‘ll never know, as if it wasn’t hard enough already without more righteous crap from the judgey mushers.
    My mother has had 9 natural deliveries, my sisters a mixed bunch. They don’t judge each other but you lot would definitely leave them feeling like crap.

  13. This is a ridiculous post and it is irresponsible to leave it up on this website, as filled with false health information as it is. A C-Section is decidedly more painful and uncomfortable for mothers to recover from – I should know, I work with mothers on the postpartum floor every day and I see the difference between vaginal birth mothers and those dealing with the results of a C-Section. You can very often tell who had a C-Section without asking because of how it leaves moms. But moms heal. The longer term consequences are in the baby’s health. C-Sections affect babies’ immunity and their respiratory health because they are not exposed to their mothers’ natural flora as they pass through the birth canal. The squeezing that happens to the baby is intense, but it is vital to the baby’s future health. If you truly need to have a C-Section, you need it. But don’t lie to moms about what this entails.

  14. This person is an idiot. Dignity, like you are less of a woman if you deliver naturally. I would have felt like a failure if I couldn’t deliver my son naturally. Privacy, you are checked as a woman your whole life for PAP smears, just as a cautionary thing, what’s the difference for being checked for an actual cause, like giving birth. No trauma, they are being ripped from your belly by a stranger, and don’t get to see your face right away. God, or science, whatever you believe in created it this way. When will people realize DRs and hospitals make more money on doing fast c-sections, that’s why its promoted. This world is sick, and so is this article.

  15. this is the most ridiculous post iv4e ever read. this website should be ashamed of themselves for promoting elective c-sections!! I wonder how much money they got for this? idiots. Educate yourselves women!! real education! not stupid boards like this crap!

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