Normal delivery or C-section?

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Having a baby is always full of fateful decisions.  One of them is whether to have an elective cesarean section (c-section).
In some cases, c-section is no more elective; it is mandatory:

  • You've had a previous cesarean or more than one previous c-section.
  • You've had some other kind of invasive uterine surgery, such as a myomectomy (the surgical removal of fibroids).
  • You're carrying more than one baby. (Some twins can be delivered vaginally, but all higher-order multiples require a c-section.)
  • You have started your pregnancy with a high BMI (overweight or obesity).
  • Your baby is expected to be very large (a condition known as macrosomia). This is particularly true if you're diabetic or you had a previous baby of the same size or smaller who suffered serious trauma during a vaginal birth.
  • Your baby is in a breech (bottom first) or transverse (sideways) position. (In some cases, such as a twin pregnancy in which the first baby is head down but the second baby is breech, the breech baby may be delivered vaginally.)
  • You have placenta previa (when the placenta is so low in the uterus that it covers the cervix).
  • The baby has a known illness or abnormality that would make a vaginal birth risky.

C-section or vaginal delivery?

  • Cesarean section is the delivery of a baby through a surgical incision in your abdomen and uterus. In certain circumstances, a c-section is scheduled in advance. In others, it's done in response to an unforeseen complication. C-section is major abdominal surgery, so it is riskier than a vaginal delivery. Moms who have c-sections are more likely to have an infection, excessive bleeding, blood clots, more postpartum pain, a longer hospital stay, and a significantly longer recovery. Injuries to the bladder or bowel, although very rare, are also more common.
  • Vaginal birth is a natural process, but it can be traumatic and may contribute to long-term problems in some women such as incontinence. Cesarean delivery circumvents some problems, but introduces some others — and it is major surgery.

Neither delivery method is perfect, so how do you decide? Let's look at the pros and cons of each.

Vaginal delivery



Your baby is less likely to suffer from a breathing problem.

Your baby may suffer distress and even oxygen deprivation.

Your baby has a decreased risk of developing a pulmonary problem.

You have a high risk to develop urinary incontinence.

Your baby has less risk to develop food allergies.





Less pain during delivery.

You are less likely to breastfeed.

You have less risk of developing problems such as urinary or fecal incontinence.

You are at high risk of developing infections.

Your baby has less risk of distress or oxygen deprivation.

Having a vaginal birth after cesarean will be an exception!


You will have more risk to develop complications during your next pregnancy.


Your baby has higher risk for asthma and other respiratory problems.


Your baby has higher risk of infections and diarrhea.


Your baby is at risk to develop later allergies.


Your baby is at risk to be obese later on.

Babies who are born vaginally pick up different flora than those who are delivered by cesarean section, potentially affecting how their immune systems develop. This difference may remain after several years.
This does explain why babies born through cesarean sections appear to be more at risk of allergies and asthma. The bacteria they're exposed to at normal vaginal birth help babies in building defenses against them.

Consequently, caesarian babies have their immunity system less strengthened than those born normally and have a different intestinal flora than those born naturally.

It is obvious that a c-section is more inconvenient that the vaginal delivery. Before taking your decision, consider all of the above listed advantages and inconveniences.

However, do not ever feel guilty if you are obliged to choose a caesarian delivery. Science has improved a lot and, nowadays, there are special milks for your baby that compensate for the lack of colonic bacteria that your baby missed when delivered by c-section; these bacteria will be responsible for reducing all the risks of the caesarean delivery.

As you can see, there are no problems, only solutions when it comes to science. click here