A frank and raw explanation as to why vaginal birth is better for you and your baby as opposed to a caesarian when given the choice. Written by an Australian Midwife.
We live in a time where nature is nature but yet there are so many other and better man-made options.
How fantastic - you can have a pain free, extremely quick birth that leaves you with the tiniest scar. The doctors are very smart and great at their job. Your vagina remains beautiful and intact and your baby has the most perfect round head you have ever seen.
This is amazing! So why does this baby need to come out of my vagina.
There’s that word again. It is hard to really understand the significance of this. Most women know they will have this special bond with their baby when they are born. They know they will love them unconditionally and that it is going to be something special, something they have never experienced before. However this process can be interrupted with a caesarian birth. The reason being there can be early separation between you and your baby. This of course is not always the case but for many caesarian births your baby is taken away to an examination table close by in eye site for the Midwife or Paediatrician to check your baby over. It is then difficult to have full skin to skin and cuddle your baby due the position you are in in the operating theatre. Most of the time skin to skin and feeding you baby is delayed until you are taken out of the operating theatre and transferred to recovery. In some cases this doesn’t happen until you have arrived to the postnatal ward which can take up to two hours or more.
2. WHAT MAJOR SURGERY MEANS
A Caesarian is major surgery.
If you ever have had your appendix removed, your tonsils removed, your wisdom teeth removed what did you do?
Did you go back to work that day? Did you catch up with friends? Have a nice big meal.
It is likely you took time off school or work. You lay in bed, slept and watched movies. You ate jelly or ice cream. You had visitors come over. You heard people say ‘naw’ when you told them about it.
These operations are all minor surgeries.
A caesarian is this on a grand scale. However this time you have a baby to look after. You don’t have the time to even sleep, rest and recover. In addition it can take up to 18 months for every layer of muscle and tissue to heal after a caesarian. Think how hard that week was for you to recover when you had your tonsils removed.
3. YUMMY GOODNESS
Your vagina is full of bacteria. When your baby is born via your vagina they are exposed to this, giving them a great start to life. It boosts their immunity, getting them ready for this non sterile world. An operating theatre is very sterile. They are going from one sterile environment to another. This means they have to wait longer to get their juicy goodness. However, there ain’t no vaginal bacteria out there blowing in the wind.
The process of labour with contractions and being squeezed through, you could say, a narrow passage, helps release a hormone called surfactant. This gets your baby’s lungs ready for when they are born. Surfactant is what keeps our lungs slightly inflated when ever we breath out. This makes it easy for us to breath back in. If our lungs completely deflated and collapsed when ever we breath out we would need to use so much energy and muscle strength to breath back in. Your baby misses this stage when they are born via caesarian and therefore has a higher chance of needing breathing support at birth. This then means your baby may go to the nursery and get separated from you.
They are difficult. They can be a challenge. This is exactly why they are so cute and make us lactate. Nature has made it a little easier for us to love our babies in such hard circumstances. You want to be able to have the energy and the health to care for your baby. Looking after yourself recovering from major surgery is an extra obstacle for yourself. With a vaginal birth you can get up straight after and run a marathon…technically, although I don’t like running.
6. LIFE SAVING
Caesarians are incredible. They take roughly 20 minutes or even less. They are neat, easy and quick. Caesarians save lives. It is important we keep this procedure for those who need it.
We are so privileged living in a time and place where we have access to all sorts of methods of birth. Certain women are even more privileged they can choose the exact type of birth they want. There are so many factors that determine why some women have to have a caesarian. When presented with the choice please take into consideration the six factors mentioned above.
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