• Pros of natural childbirth: * Most natural childbirth techniques are not invasive, so there's little potential for harm or side effects for you or your baby. * Many women have a strong sense of empowerment during labor and accomplishment afterward. And despite having to endure pain, many report that they'd opt for an unmedicated birth again the next time. For some women, being in charge helps lessen their perception of pain. * There's no loss of sensation or alertness. You'll be awake and active during labor and birth — so you can move around more freely and find positions that help you stay comfortable during labor and aid the delivery process when it's time to push your baby out. * Your partner will feel involved as you work together to manage your pain. * You don't necessarily need to be hooked up to an IV or monitoring machines, so it's easier to move about — walk if you'd like, take a shower or a bath, and use the toilet instead of a bedpan. * You're less likely than women who get epidurals to need Pitocin, a vacuum extraction or forceps delivery, or bladder catheterization. * Breathing exercises, visualization, and self-hypnosis can be practiced ahead of time — and used again later. Many new mothers find themselves drawing on their relaxation techniques in the early days of breastfeeding, while coping with postpartum discomfort, or when caring for a newborn feels especially stressful. * Natural birth is better for babies, because their internal organs don't have to process the drugs that pass through the placenta (and, yes, everything passes through the placenta). They are more alert at birth, and often have an easier time breastfeeding. Cons: it can be exhausting, but no one ever said childbirth was a piece of cake! Pros of c-section: It can be life-saving when the mother and/or the baby are truly in disress. Cons of c-section: * Physical problems in mothers: Compared with vaginal birth, cesarean section increases a woman's risk for a number of physical problems. These range from less common but potentially life-threatening problems, including hemorrhage (severe bleeding), blood clots, and bowel obstruction, to much more common concerns such as longer-lasting and more severe pain and infection. Even after recovery from surgery, scarring and adhesion tissue increase risk for ongoing pelvic pain and for twisted bowel. * Hospitalization of mothers: If a woman has a cesarean, she is more likely to stay in the hospital longer and is at greater risk of being re-hospitalized. * Emotional well-being of mothers: A woman who has a cesarean section may be at greater risk for poorer overall mental health and some emotional problems. She is also more likely to rate her birth experience poorer than a woman who has had a vaginal birth. * Early contact with, feelings toward babies: A woman who has a cesarean usually has less early contact with her baby and is more likely to have initial negative feelings about her baby. * Breastfeeding: Recovery from surgery poses challenges for getting breastfeeding under way, and a baby who was born by cesarean is less likely to be breastfed and get the benefits of breastfeeding. * Health of babies: Babies born by cesarean are more likely to: o be cut during the surgery (usually minor) o have breathing difficulties around the time of birth o experience asthma in childhood and in adulthood. * Future reproductive problems for mothers: A cesarean section in this pregnancy puts a woman at risk for future reproductive problems in comparison with a woman who has a vaginal birth. These problems may involve serious complications and medical emergencies. The likelihood of experiencing some of these conditions goes up sharply as the number of previous cesareans increases. These problems include: o ectopic pregnancy: pregnancies that develop outside her uterus or within the scar o reduced fertility, due to either less ability to become pregnant again or less desire to do so o placenta previa: the placenta attaches near or over the opening to her cervix o placenta accreta: the placenta grows through the lining of the uterus and into or through the muscle of the uterus o placental abruption: the placenta detaches from the uterus before the baby is born o rupture of the uterus: the uterine scar gives way during pregnancy or labor. * Concerns about babies in future pregnancies: A cesarean section in this pregnancy can affect the babies of future pregnancies. Studies have found that they are more likely to: o be born too early (preterm) o weigh less than they should (low birthweight) o have a physical abnormality or injury to their brain or spinal cord o die before or shortly after the birth * Planned cesarean compared with unplanned cesarean: A planned cesarean offers some advantages over an unplanned cesarean (a cesarean that occurs after labor is under way). For example, there may be fewer surgical injuries and fewer infections. The emotional impact of a cesarean that is planned in advance appears to be similar to or somewhat worse than a vaginal birth. By contrast, unplanned cesareans can take a greater emotional toll. * Planned cesarean compared with vaginal birth: A planned cesarean still involves the risks associated with major surgery. And both planned and unplanned cesareans result in a uterine scar and internal scarring (adhesions). This means women with planned and unplanned cesareans face similar risks in future pregnancies and for problems related to scarring and adhesions at any time
  • 20 years ago I went through a very traumatic experience of having a csection and I will not recomend it to anyone, I have had two more children since then both vaginal and know I'm pregnant and due in two days.Now I have Kaiser and they want me to have another c section and I refuse to do it. I also don't want to harm my baby He is in great health his heart is ok and I still have good fluid. What should I do should I go against what I believe or should I go ahead with it.
  • There are only pro's to c-sections as far as I am concerned. Natural childbirth?! HA! Only if a MAN is talking. I had my second child by c-section and it was awesome! The only con was that the epidural shots hurt like crazy....but not nearly as much as natural childbirth. Screw that - give me DRUGS!!
  • I'd like to add a few cons to natural childbirth. I have experienced both. One natural delivery with no tears cuts or stiches very peacful very good delivery and recovery. One crash C section to save myself and my babies life. I am now having baby no3 even after my terrible CRASH C SECTION I am hoping to have an elective C Section the reason being after a C section you don't have the dreaded stress incontinance. I have done my pelvic floor exercises like a trooper yet still 6 years on if I need to yell or scream laugh or sneeze I have to cross my legs. Compared to a couple of days in pain when you laugh or cough I know what I prefer. I amsurethat some of the poor ladies out there who delivered big babies or had difficult labours forceps 3rd degree tears etc would have a few cons to add the the list of cons for natural childbirth. I cannot stand onesided arguments like this one by noodlesalad or is that noodlebrain.
  • I am pleased that some people have put good comments on about c-sections. I am looking for information about them, as I have been told by my doctor that I may have to have one for medical reasons. After reading the terribly biased 'cons' list at the top of this page, I was in tears. I think the person who wrote that should consider people like me, who may have to have a c-section and are very very scared. You are just making us feel worse about the whole thing.
  • natural birth every time, after all, its only natural, and thats why and what your body is designed for
  • I had to have a crash c-section after a textbook pregnancy. I had to be induced as baby decided he was quite happy where he was! On admittance we were both fine and midwife commented what a happy baby he was with good heartbeat etc. All went pear-shaped a couple of hours later resulting in crash section. I came round with healthy baby weighing a good 9lb and apart from being bruised where he was yanked out of me at speed we were fine. I was able to breastfeed with no problems. Absolutely no issues with bonding etc and 20 months later we are all great. My scar had one section which didn't heal particularly well but this is more because I had a bit of a tummy and it wasn't drying out properly. My view is that although we are designed to give birth, sometimes we need help and this is why you have c-sections. For anybody having a planned or emergency / crash section the outcome should be a healthy baby and a healthy mum and you are not a failure if you have a c-section.
  • I was in a dilemma for whether I should consider natural childbirth or a c-section. After all, I chose natural childbirth and if you get an epidural and pitocin, it is alot less painful. If you get the two, you are only in pain for the duration of pushing. Extremely short recovery and alot less recovery time then a c-section, in which the recovery is a whopping 6 weeks!!!
  • Just be grateful you aren't working in a rice paddy in a third world country.
  • I had first child natural and then a set of twins 55 minutes apart natural and then I had a 9 1/2 pounder with the cord around his neck twice and around his little forehead c-section and his brother 6 years later also the same weight and had him c-section.....what do I think?.......c-sections hurt for a long time after like even months. are over the pain after the child is born and if you have stitches maybe a little longer. Go for natural you won't regret it.
  • i agree with lindsay....i was due my little boy two days ago and i went to have another check up with the midwife today to find out that hes not even engaged yet, problem i have is that i double fractured my pelvis in a car accident 5years ago so for this reason i may have to have a c-section, i will find out for definate on monday, but im so nervous about it all now! men are so lucky
  • I honestly cant believe the first person's disgustingly biased view, to say all those positives about natural birth and say the ONLY con is that its tiring! TIRING? are you kidding me? how about the cutting, tearing and stretching that goes on down there, just coz our bodies are made for it doesnt make it any less horrible and painful. And then to go on and on with all the negative things about c-sections! thats just cruel! Look everyone is different, everyone feels pain differently, for some people a c-section will be the right choice, for others maybe not so much. and the same rule applies for natural births, every single birth is different and you cant listen to other peoples stories and think that they will all apply to you. (what is wrong with people that as soon as you say your pregnant all you hear are horror stories about the birth??!) plus we are fed so much rubbish in the media who's to know whats true anymore anyway? the most important thing is that your baby is healthy when it comes out, how it comes out is up to each individual. so do your research and then make your choices but have an open mind and please try not to plan the birth too much, dont have expectations, otherwise you could feel very disapointed if not everything happens as you imagined.
  • I had a natural childbirth with an epidural. No pain whatsoever. Just some pushing. Everything went so smoothly that I felt somewhat left out in conversations with other moms and ignored by my doctor. However there is one nagging thing that I should comment on about natural childbirth, and that is sex. Sex has never been exactly the same for me after natural childbirth. I state exactly. I know things are close but not exactly. You don't snap back all the way I can tell you that. Also c-sections make other things easier. You don't have to sit around and wait for the day- then in a panic go rushing to the hospital. Instead you have an appointment with doctors and nurses hovering over you. You wake up and there's the baby. I can't help wonder if all of these older hollywood movie stars have c-sections because of a larger hidden agenda with sex, as well as to make things easier for themselves physically, all in spite of alarming health risks to the baby. I have a couple of friends with little boys who have terrible asmatic problems and I wonder if this is connected to the warnings I see with these c-sections. Does anyone has a comment for me on this discussion?
  • I still cant believe that midwifes and doctors still try and put you off c sections, I think they are amazing and would opt for a section compared to a natural birth. I have a 3 and half year old daughter who I had naturally, she was 10lb born and I had an epidural and episitomy (cant spell it) when they cut you so that the baby comes out easier. I was in alot of pain afterwards and could not sit properly for 3 weeks after, I lost alot of blood and they did my stitches too tight which made them get infected. All this made be depressed. When I fell pregnant last summer I knew that I was going to ask whether I could have a c section this time. After alot of persuading the consultant agreed with my decision and that after what I went through last time it would be beneficial for me to have an elective ceaserean. I felt nothing throughout the procedure and afterwards felt amazingly well. My baby is 5 months old now and my scar is like a hairline. I healed very quickly and would definately prefer a c section over a natural delivery anyday.
  • I can't imagine why anyone would have surgery if they didn't have to. A c-section is major abdominal surgery with all the risks that go with it. Then you have to take care of a baby with your stomach muscles cut. Why would you willingly do that? If you have to have it to save your life or that of your child, then by all means, have a c-section. By why do that to yourself if you don't have to?
  • think it out, c section you get an epidural and a scar, natural birth you get a but load of pain and a coneheaded kid. which do you prefer?
  • Natural is certainly preferred, but I know that if I had not had a c-section, both me and my son would be dead.
  • I think the obvious answer is vaginal birth unless a section is medically necessary.
  • I had both of my children completely natural and was up running around the next day. The only way I would consider C-Section is if was absolutely medically necessary. If not, I'm going natural.
  • ive read all the comments on here and forst things first i have no issue with sex and everyone else i know who had a vaginal has had no problems with sex... i dont like vaginal births as me and my son almost died as the result of one. there is pros and cons for all. what ever you feel is better in your heart go with. i am electing to be induced 1 month early if my 2nd bub is going to be anywhere near 10pounds, i have 8-9 weeks to think about it. but i am sure i am going with an early labour with an epidural. if the pain is anything like my first i had a full on back labour with no pain in my stomach it felt as though my spine was crushing. if i feel this i am going for a c section.
  • I had a completely natural vaginal delivery with my 10lb 4oz son, and was told later that I shouldn't have had to deliver him like that. I wasn't against having a C-sec, nor was I against having him naturally... I have always been one to go with the flow, and that's what I did. Unfortuantely for me, with no one realizing how big he was going to be (and my doc not believing me that he was facing left instead of the back), he came out not only huge, but with his hands in his face, facing my leg, and with shoulders wider than his head. When the Dr. put her fingers under his arms to pull him out, he spread his arms out, causing 4th degree tears. I was told my the Dr. that she had never dealt with something like this, and sent for the specialist. He came in, took one look, and told the nurse to call down and have the ER prepped. So I got to go and get stitches, and missed out on the 1st 1.5 hrs of my son's life (luckily my husband was there, so he got some good one-on-one time). I was in the hospital for 5 days (same as w/ a C-sec.), couldn't sit properly for about 6 weeks, had to continuously take pain meds and stool softeners, and use a peri bottle after every bathroom visit to keep my area clean. After all this, I can't see a C-section being any more difficult... I'm going to end up with stitches either way (the scar tissue won't stretch, it will tear again automotically), and in the hospital for at least a few days, so I might as well save my crotch from further destruction lol! I'm not saying that the C is any better than going natural, but in my case the pro's and cons are about the same. I love the fact that I can say I did it once with no drugs, and have a hansome healthy boy to prove it! If you can do a vaginal birth, I'd recommend it, as my case isn't that common, and it is nice to know that in the end you did what real women have been doing since the beginning of our species... but if you need to get a C done, don't let anyone make you feel like you are wimping out - it's your choice, and as long as you are confident with your decision, leave it at that and focus on having a positive delivery and a happy, healthy baby!
  • That's between you and your ob-gyn. That is not an option for giving birth. There has to be a medical reason why a c-section is required. You cannot simply request one.

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