With the introduction of so many medical interventions regarding child birth, more births than ever before are resulting in caesarean sections.

Many women find themselves wondering from an early stage in pregnancy whether they will give birth vaginally or by a caesarean section. It is no longer assumed that every pregnant woman will give birth vaginally. Caesarean section is an alternative to the normal vaginal birth, although it is still subject to debate as to whether it should be an available choice for all new mothers.

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A Caesarean section is now, in general, considered as safe and as natural as the natural birth, however, it is still considered a medical decision to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of each birth method.

There are also potential complications from natural childbirth. Damage can be done to the vaginal membranes, the perineum and sphincter in the rectum or lead to serious future problems with a person’s sex life. There is also increased risk of blood clots in the legs and haematoma in the birth canal. Additionally, there are some more long-term problems that only occur many years after birth. Incontinence of urine and faeces and a sunken uterus, bladder and rectum. These complications are not seen after a Caesarean.

It would be naive to go into this, however, without also looking at the possible complications from a caesarean section too. There is no getting away from the fact that a caesarean section is major surgery, and as such, should be considered very seriously before electing for it. Like a butterfly emerging from its cocoon, the birth process helps prepare a newborn’s airways and clear the lungs. A caesarean prevents this from happening which can lead to breathing issues after birth. In addition, the risks are equally serious for a mother. Haemorrhages, infections, blood clots – both short and long term pain and damage to other organs caused by the adhesions from surgery. Pain during sex is not uncommon after this type of surgery either. Complications in future pregnancies and infertility issues caused by scar tissue are not uncommon either. Ectopic pregnancies, miscarriages and stillbirth are also more common after a caesarean section too.

Many pregnant women are so scared and anxious about the pain from contractions that it affects their daily lives to an unbearable degree. If a planned caesarean is the only acceptable way for a women in labour, it is now a good and relatively safe alternative. If you have any concerns or want to discuss your options further, do not feel that it is wrong to talk to your midwife about your options.

Did you have a natural birth or a c-section? What were your experiences?