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:
- 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.
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