Natural Delivery vs C-Section Delivery – which is better?

Typically, normal delivery or vaginal births result in shorter hospital stays, lower injection rates, and quicker recovery times. Some women will deliver a baby with no medical interventions, while others may require or request some form of intervention.

Caesarean birth is quite different from vaginal delivery. In general, a C-section is a surgical procedure that takes about 45 minutes, whereas a vaginal birth can take hours. For this type of birth, your doctor will make an incision through your abdomen and uterus to remove your baby. Once the baby is out, your doctor will cut the umbilical cord, remove the placenta, and close the incision.

Your healing and recovery from a vaginal delivery will depend on which, if any, medical procedures were performed during birth. According to the ACOG, recovery from a C-section is similar to that of any surgery. You’ll need to stay in the hospital for the first 2 to 4 days after the procedure. Moving around, including getting in and out of bed, is often difficult and quite painful.

In general, the healing and recovery time for a vaginal birth is often significantly faster than that of a C-section.

Still every year, as many as 6.6 million babies are born in India through caesarean-section (c-section) surgery. The number has more than doubled in the past decade, going up from 8.5% of the total births in 2005-06 to 17.2% in 2015-16. C-section rates in rural India (12.9%) are closer to WHO recommendations, but its urban count – 28.3% – is nearly three times that. The rates hover around 50% at many private tertiary-care hospitals in Indian cities.

Why do we see this raising rate of C-section deliveries? And are C-section deliveries better than natural deliveries even though it takes a longer time to heal?

C-section deliveries certainly reduce the chances of complications and the pain of giving birth does not last for hours. Yes, you must stay in the hospital for a few more days. However, the medicines and facilities have improved enough to make the healing process much easier. So, should we normalise the rising count of c-section deliveries so that women need not go through hours of labour pain?

There have been cases of babies having problems in long normal delivery processes.  However, surgery comes with its own risks – anaesthesia complications, infections, haemorrhage, scarring, injury to other organs, increased chances of respiratory distress, and the likelihood of the baby contracting autoimmune diseases and allergic ailments. C-sections also delay mother-newborn bonding and breastfeeding and increase the chances of repeat caesareans for subsequent deliveries.

Moreover, the pattern we see is that doctors in private hospitals are opting for c-section deliveries so that they can have the delivery at a time that is convenient for them. This should not be a criterion for opting for a C-section delivery. If you are opting for a c-section delivery, make sure it is not for the convenience of the doctor.

The main point is the safety and speedy recovery of the mother and baby. So, either it is normal delivery or C-section the mother and doctor should opt for what is best for their situation.

-Staff Reporter 



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