Vaginal Birth Vs. C-Section

Having a baby can be one of the most amazing feelings ever. It can be scary and intense but with the right support group, it can be an amazing experience.

However, sometimes things don’t go the way you’d like them to go. Complications can happen to both mother and baby and the stress of it all can take away a lot of that joy that you should have as a new parent.

I’ve heard things from friends and family recently who think that because I will not experience labor like the 18 hours of labor I had with my son, that my delivery and recovery time will be easier this time around.

I wanted to take the time to talk about what a C-Section does to the mom both physically, mentally and emotionally to clear up any misconceptions that a c-section is easy peasy stuff.

First of all women are too often denied the choice to choose a V-bac scenario over a vaginal birth if they have already had to have a C-section. This can be very hard on mothers emotionally because they feel their bodies have failed them. So saying to a mother who is getting ready for a c-section something like “Hey at least you don’t have to be in labor” is not necessarily comforting. Many many women would love to have the ability to let their bodies do all they can do naturally without drugs or intervention. It’s what women have been doing for thousands of years and the human race has gone on without the use of drugs or intervention. This is a natural way! Labor has proven to help the bonding experience between mother and baby and an immediate latch of the baby on the breast after delivery has proven to make breastfeeding easier for women due to the hormone relaxin that is released while in labor. I know some women complain about what happens after they give birth and look towards using something like amaira skincare to help them to ‘get back to the way they were’.

When a woman is forced to undergo a C-section due to hospital guidelines, most often the baby is taken from the mother until the mother is in the recovery room (this could be for many hours). This window of time is very crucial for breastfeeding and bonding with your newborn and when that is taken away from you, mothers often feel disconnected and like they have failed somehow, even though it’s not their fault.

Thankfully with my son, I was able to start breastfeeding about a half hour after having a c-section and I hope to be able to do the same thing this time if not sooner with a little help from a nurse or my husband. I will be more pro-active with what I want even though I must have this done. I will not have my rights taken away from me as a mother or overlooked simply due to hospital guidelines.

The number one reason that c-sections can be harder on mother’s than vaginal deliveries is the recovery time. The time when you should be happy to see friends and family and be up on your feet after a few days is stretched to a few weeks after a C-section.

The difference between vaginal delivery vs. C-section:
From Women’s Health Care Topics:

Vaginal Delivery:

  • This is the more natural way to give birth. Your body is naturally equipped to give birth vaginally without medical intervention. Labor starts with your cervix dilating, and it ends with a newborn baby.
  • Women have a sense of empowerment and accomplishment after a vaginal birth. They are active participants in the childbirth experience. They must push to help move their baby through the birth canal and into the world.
  • Shorter hospital stay after a vaginal birth. (You are in the hospital for 24 to 48 hours after delivery).


  • A c-section is a major abdominal surgery that comes with surgical risks and complications from anesthesia. Anesthesia side effects may include a severe headache, nausea, and vomiting. Anesthesia may also affect the baby, causing him or her to be sluggish or inactive when born.
  • Women with planned cesarean sections have longer hospital stays and a longer postpartum recovery period than women with vaginal deliveries.
  • You are at an increased risk for serious health complications after a cesarean delivery and are more likely to need to visit a gynecologist later in life. When compared to women with vaginal deliveries, women with planned cesarean deliveries are at a higher risk for:
    • Heart attacks
    • Wound hematoma – mass of clotted blood underneath the site of the c-section incision
    • Puerperal endometritis infection – inflammation of the tissue lining your uterus that is caused by a bacteria infection
    • Blood clots in the veins
    • Hemorrhage (bleeding) that requires a hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus)
    • Opening of the wound
    • Numbness or pain in the area around the scar.
    • Postpartum infection.
  • You lose more blood in a cesarean section than a vaginal delivery. Two to three percent of women who undergo c-sections require a blood transfusion. You lose approximately 1,000 mL (or 1 liter) of blood with a c-section.
  • You may have decreased bowel function after a cesarean.
  • Respiratory problems are more common in babies delivered via c-section. Problems include transient tachypnea of the neonate (TTN) and respiratory distress syndrome.
  • Some research has indicated that the odds of neonatal death (your baby dies in the first 28 days of life) are higher in a planned c-section than with a vaginal birth.
  • Breastfeeding is more difficult after a cesarean delivery. Women are uncomfortable after surgery, and they do not have immediate contact with their baby.

This isn’t to say that c-sections are unnecessary but I honestly feel that simply because your first pregnancy ended in having to have a c-section due to complications, having a second natural birth shouldn’t be considered out of the question and it is in many cities, towns, and hospitals. I needed a c-section with my son because he got stuck and I’m very happy I had a great medical team of professionals there to deliver my baby and he was safe and healthy.

But I am not pleased that my right to have a vaginal birth has been taken away and due to insurance reasons I can not travel 2 to 3 hours away to have a baby in a city that does VBACs, nor would it be feasible or reasonable to travel such a long distance away from home to do this. So I ask you to support the women in your life who have to go thru this. Please don’t belittle them or make them feel like less of a person or mother because they had to have this done. Given the choice, most women would not choose a c-section.

About Heather Jones

I'm just a wife and mom of two boys trying to find her place in this world. I enjoy walks around the lake, bible journaling, and RV camping with my family.

Heartfully Heather


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Heather Jones

I'm just a wife and mom of two boys trying to find her place in this world. I enjoy walks around the lake, bible journaling, and RV camping with my family.

11 thoughts on “Vaginal Birth Vs. C-Section

  1. Ugggg…I wish more doctors would do VBACs. My first birth was a c-section and I was blessed enough to find a doctor willing to do a VBAC with my second. To me, you SHOULD have a choice (unless you have some serious medical conditions and it is impossible to VBAC). I feel really bad for people who are forced into cesareans…it just pads the hospital and doctors pocketbooks. 

  2. I had a c-section for my first child who was upside down and after attempting to turn her was unsuccessful, we opted for a c-section.  I never felt disconnected or un-bonded with my daughter.  I was fortunate enough that she was able to be with my husband the whole time.  I think that created a great bond between the two of them.
    For my second child I was going to have a VBAC.  After 8 hours of labor, with an epidural, my pain level escalated beyond belief.  No one could figure out why I was in so much pain.  They did the head scratch thing on the babys head and realized he needed to come out as soon as possible. They opted to do a vacuum extraction.  After pleading with them to let me try pushing first, I pushed for 1/2 hour.  The baby’s heart rate dropped and they scheduled me for an emergency c-section.
    My uterus had ruptured.  During the repair of the uterus I started hemorraging and they had to perform a hysterectomy to save my life.  I had 2 blood transfusion.  I was awake during the whole thing and heard everything, until I finally asked them to put me to sleep.
    The doctor told my husband to call all my family in because he didn’t think I was going to make it.  Thankfully, I am still here today and had a beautiful healthy boy, who turns 17 next week.
    Births are suppose to be a celebration and many people don’t realize all of the complications that can really occur.   I was one of those people who thought it happened to others, not me.  My husband and I had planned on having more children but I am so very thankful for the two great kids I have today.

  3. It turns out that you definitely needed to have a c-section with both and I’m so glad you survived and your child did too. A uterian rupture is a scary thing. I am curious about statistics from the last view years about successful vbacs without uteran rupture. Maybe c-section stitching has changed a bit from 17 years ago to make it a little safer to try. But I’m not sure.  You are right thought, we all have a birth plan and sometimes you have to just throw it out the window because at the end of the day celebrating life is the most important thing to look at.

  4. On January 4th, 1984 I had a c-section birth and that was after 72 hours of hard hard labor. I am thankful for the c-section because medically it was necessary to save my daughter. 
    Then on July 29, 1987 I delivered my second daughter vaginally with a mid-wife. I am thankful for both experience. 
    I am saddened to know that thing have gone backwards for births in this day and age.
    The mid-wife that delivered my second daughter went on to become a doctor and has her own birthing center set in home birth setting.  She delivered my first and second granddaughters! (Both of them were delivered by way of water via tub suitable for births) 
    My suggestion to Moms-to be and Moms-again-to-be, do your research to find the doctor or mid-wives who believe in the same beliefs as YOU do. It is your choice. 

  5. Found you on GTS 🙂
    After struggling with infertility for years, I had visions of a perfect delivery when I finally did become pregnant. What ended up happening was an induction, 14 hours of labor which resulted in an emergency c-section. I was anemic and lost more blood than planned, but I felt pretty good physically afterwards. I had issues with my incision “reopening” and fear of infection, but the c-section was needed for my baby to be healthy.
    I would love nothing more than to have a v-bac with my next child, but was told there is a minute chance of that happening because they “dont really do that anymore.” When the time comes, Im going to do everything I can to have a natural childbirth. In the end, im just thankful for a healthy baby. 🙂

  6. I learned that every birth is a unique experience.  You probably won’t get exactly the experience you were expecting, but at least you can fight for it when you are able to.  I was induced for my first child due to pregnancy induced high blood pressure.  For my second I really wanted to go into labor naturally, I was able to hold out one week longer than I did with my first, but I still needed to be induced for the same reason.  I did however get a better birth experience because I asked for the things that I felt I missed out on the first time around.  I had a doula for the second and ended up having no pain medication (which I had planned).  I found that I recovered much quicker without having pain medication – which was a suprise to me!  So, do your research, ask for what you want (and fight for it if you need to), and be prepared that things won’t go exactly as planned 🙂

  7. Thank you for sharing so candidly, Heather. Your comments educated me and reminded me to be respectful of everyone’s choices/situations. You clearly love your baby so very much already. 🙂

  8. Thank you for sharing this with us. I was lucky to have a vaginal delivery with both my children, but the first was really hard.
    The mother choice should be in the front of everything and often as in my case it gets overlooked.
    If you would like to come over to my blog I would love to keep in touch
    best wishes jill

  9. When a woman is forced to under go a C-section due to hospital guidelines, most often the baby is taken from the mother until the mother is in the recovery room (this could be for many hours). This window of time is very crucial for breastfeeding and bonding with your newborn and when that is taken away from you, mother’s often feel disconnected and like they have failed somehow, even though its not their fault.I had a c-sec: and I didn’t know what planet I was on, the day of the week or anything.  I did not bond with my daughter and now she is 17!  I went through a stage where I denied having a baby. I had to get help and support…my husband went home a Day before ME THE MOM, because the insurance did not cover it.  Either way it was not planned and I love her and your post helped me to learn the emotions that go along with the C-sec.  TY ♥ I am doing the blog hop on Hope I did it right

  10. I remember that funk feeling with my son. Hoping I can snap myself out of it with this baby. My only problem with c-sections is when its forced when its not medically necessary. A c-section can save lives. But the c-section rate is like 30% of all pregnancies in the US now, and it should only be 10 to 15%.  It sucks even more when you live in rural area where you don’t have a lot of options and there is only one hospital in town and the home birthing centers in that area have to honor the “only hospital” in the areas policies for v-bacs. If I hadn’t had on vbac with my son, I could have attempted a home birth scenario this time with a midwife or doula.

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