Caesarean (C-Section) vs. Natural delivery

C vs natural

A small snippet of what’s known

Almost one-third of all births in Australia are now caesareans. Australian rate of caesarean section remains among the highest in the world. The 2007 ABS study highlights that the increase of caesarean rates include; advancing maternal age, multiple pregnancy, low birth weight, breech presentation and private accommodation status in hospital. *

*ABS 2007, Birth Method report

‘…In about half of all women after vaginal delivery, there is substantial alteration of functional anatomy…There can be no doubt that maternal birth trauma is a common enough risk (affecting 30–50 per cent of all primiparae after a (first time) vaginal delivery)…’ Pelvic Floor Trauma in Childbirth, O&G Magazine, Autumn 14. See table 1

C-section v natural delivery v2

 Evolution and Childbirth

The “obstetrical dilemma” hypothesis implies that when humans started walking upright on two legs, the birth canal became narrower and as infants’ brains are comparatively large, childbirth becomes problematic, and that pelvic size determines the timing of labour. However a study (EGG “energetics of gestation and growth” hypothesis) did rule this hypothesis out.

 

By the time this Blog is posted, my stomach would be stitched up and I would be a mum of two. A little over 7 months ago my Obstetrician asked what my birth plan was this time around. I had an emergency caesarean with my first child after being in hospital for over 30 hours and being induced three times (or trying to be). Eventually I went into labour but after 5 hours, and only dilating 2cm, my baby’s heart rate started to decrease fast. I was then in theatre 1 hour later having a caesarean.

‘So I could have a natural birth after a caesarean (c-section) birth (VBAC). Mmm, do I really want to go through that again?’

After some thought I opted for an elective caesarean. I knew that recovery would likely be longer, there may be a higher risk of infection than a natural delivery and my baby may carry a higher risk of respiratory distress.

There is substantial literature and there are many case studies on this topic. At the end of the day, there is no right or wrong way to deliver your baby as long as you are aware of the pros and cons of each birth option. There are friends who had a natural birth without a ‘scratch’ and friends who did undergo a traumatic child birth. All I can say is that hopefully, in time, soon to be mothers are advised of their own personal risks prior, so they then can evaluate whether a natural birth or caesarean is best for them.