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While in most cases vaginal delivery is the most natural and uncomplicated way to deliver a baby, more and more women are opting for Cesarean Sections. Today C-sections make up about 30% of all births. Since every woman can choose how they would like their delivery, it is important to understand the risks and advantages of both options. Here are the pros and cons for natural birthing and c-section deliveries.

Vaginal Delivery Pros:

For the Mother:
From a psychological standpoint, women who go through with a vaginal delivery are said to have a more positive birthing experience. Women who go through vaginal delivery sometimes feel it is empowering to know they were actively involved in the process. Mothers who deliver through vaginal birth have a shorter recovery time than those who opt for C-sections. This method of birthing also allows the mother and baby to make skin to skin contact immediately after delivery, speeding up the bonding process.

For the Baby:
Babies born via vaginal delivery tend to have less medical complications as well. They are able to breast feed sooner, have less allergies, and have less respiratory problems.

Vaginal Delivery Cons:

For the Mother:
Vaginal delivery can be stressful as you will not be completely sure how long your delivery will take. Some deliveries are short while others take hours depending on each case. Having a baby delivered the natural way leaves the mother waiting for the big day to come, making the planning process for a baby’s arrival more complicated.

For the Baby:
There are not many cons for babies who are delivered through vaginal birth. A very small percentage may experience injury or brain hemorraging from delivery, but this is unlikely in most cases.

Cesarean Section Pros:

For the Mother:
Many women opt for Cesarean sections so that they do not need to go through long hours of labor. Planned Cesarean section surgeries allow the expectant mother to plan for the birth, giving more control over when the birth occurs and allowing more predictability. Women who have C-sections do not incur damage to the pelvic floor, which can lead to incontinence over the years.

For the Baby:
If your baby is large, also known as macrosomia, or you are having twins, a C-section may be the best option for delivery. Also, if you have certain diseases like HIV and your blood tests near the end of pregnancy indicate a high viral load, a C-section will decrease the risk of passing an infection on to your baby.

Cesarean Section Cons:

For the Mother:
Since Cesarean Sections are major surgeries, you will have a longer recovery time than that of a vaginal delivery. Like any major surgery, there are risks for infections, but properly caring for your wound will lessen these risks and help ensure a healthy recovery. Having a C-section can delay your ability to breastfeed and you will not be able to have immediate contact with your baby. These can have an effect on the bonding process between you and your child. Also, some mothers who have C-sections will not have the option of vaginal birth in the future.

For the Baby:
Some babies have respiratory problems when delivered by C-section. Some doctors claim that C-sections cause complications like problems with anesthesia or possibly nicking the baby. These risks during delivery are very low, but are factors each expectant mother should be aware of.
Overall, there are significant factors that affect the decision to choose your option, and the choice is yours to make. Of course, in cases where a c-section is necessary for the health of the mother and baby, (such as high risk of passing sexually transmitted viruses or complications from fetal distress) the procedure will be carried out even if a natural birth is preferred.

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