What Is The Difference Between C Section And Natural Birth

what is the difference between c section and natural birth

Part of your birth plan should include how you want the baby delivered. 

Mothers can choose how they want their baby to enter the world, naturally or through a c-section delivery. 

Choosing a delivery method is an important decision. That’s why it’s important to know the facts about both methods.

Have you started making plans for how your baby is going to enter the world? If so, you’ve come to the right page. 

Today, we will discuss what is the difference between c section and natural birth. We will also discuss the pros and cons of both and everything expecting parents should know. 

Read on to learn more.

What Is The Difference Between C Section And Natural Birth

Natural vaginal birth is one of the most common delivery methods. The baby is pushed through the pelvic region into the birth canal before coming out of the vagina. 

On average, 20 to 30% of births are through c-sections. This procedure is where a medical professional surgically removes the baby from the mother’s womb.

Now that you have a basic idea of the difference between the two delivery methods let’s look at the various factors you should know.

Delivery: C-Section vs. Natural

Vaginal births take longer than c-section deliveries. 

A planned C-section procedure typically takes between 45 and 60 minutes. A vaginal delivery won’t be as quick. 

Once a mother goes into labor, it can take anywhere from 4 to 20 hours for the baby to be born or even longer. 

Some women have been in labor for over a day. The longest labor time ever recorded was 75 days.

The time a c-section takes will depend on whether it was planned or an emergency. In an emergency c-section, the doctor will only take a few minutes to perform the delivery.

When women give birth naturally, they will go into labor once their cervix dilates. 

They will also begin to feel contractions, which help the baby move. These contractions may feel like an extreme version of period cramps.

With both delivery methods, women will be offered the option to have an epidural for pain relief. This is a personal preference, and there is no right or wrong decision regarding pain relief.

what is the difference between c section and natural birth

Recovery Time: C-Section vs. Natural

Whether you choose to have a vaginal birth or c-section, it’s important to know that every women’s recovery times are different from the next.

After giving birth, it is common for women to stay in the hospital because of the postpartum side effects. Women may experience soreness, vaginal bleeding, constipation, and other symptoms after birth.

Women who have vaginal births usually have shorter recovery times than women who have c-sections. On average, they only need to stay in the hospital for 24 to 48 hours after delivery. 

The postpartum side effects are usually worse for women with c-section delivery. For this reason, they typically are in the hospital for 2 to 4 days after delivery.

It’s important to remember that with both forms of deliveries, that recovery time doesn’t end when you leave the hospital. 

New mothers must rest and be easy on their bodies for the first few weeks after birth.

Complications: C-Section vs. Natural

There is a possibility that complications could occur with either method of childbirth. 

During vaginal birth, a woman may require an episiotomy. This is when a cut is made to enlarge the vaginal opening. 

Other issues include perineal tears, bladder control problems, and pelvic organ prolapse.

When it comes to cesarean delivery, multiple complications can occur. But we don’t want to scare any of our readers. 

Complications during a c-section are very rare. However, you should know what can occur if you plan to have a c-section. 

In some cases, the following complications can affect women who have c-sections.

  • C-section incision infection
  • Hemorrhage
  • Severe bleeding
  • Blood clots
  • Injury to the bladder or bowels
  • Uterine rupture
  • Placenta previa
  • Placenta accreta

What Is More Painful? (C-Section or Natural Birth)

Let’s get to the question on top of most of our readers’ minds—comparing vaginal birth and c-section deliveries, which of the two birthing methods is more painful? 

Birth by c-section is more painful than a vaginal delivery.

Let’s explain why this is. During a c-section delivery, the mother will likely have an epidural and feel nothing. 

However, after the procedure, the mother will feel more extended pain than a mother who had a vaginal delivery.

Benefits Of Natural Birth

A vaginal delivery is the most natural form of birth. Let’s look at some of the benefits of choosing this delivery method.

  • Mothers can initiate earlier contact with the baby after birth than if they had a cesarean.
  • Mothers can breastfeed sooner.
  • Lower risk of infections.
  • Fluid is pushed out of the baby’s lungs naturally during vaginal delivery. This occurs because of the way the mother’s muscles contract.
  • Fewer risks and complications for future pregnancies.
  • Less expensive than c-section delivery.

Disadvantages Of Natural Birth

While vaginal deliveries are natural, there are disadvantages to choosing this birthing method. 

Let’s look at some of the cons of choosing a vaginal delivery.

  • Labor is very long, exhausting, and grueling. Once a woman goes into labor, it could be a long time before the process is complete. Some new mothers can give birth in 4 to 8 hours, while others remain in labor for over a day.
  • Vaginal delivery can cause lasting pain in the perineum (the area of your body between the vaginal opening and anus).
  • You may leak urine when you have body functions (such as sneezing or coughing).
  • Pelvic organ prolapse occurs from vaginal births. This causes organs to slip into the pelvis.
  • Severe stretching and tears can occur in the vagina.

what is the difference between c section and natural birth

Benefits Of C-Sections

Vaginal deliveries aren’t for every mother. Some women choose c-sections electively, while others need to for medical reasons. 

Let’s look at some of the benefits of choosing this delivery method.

  • Safe for the newborn baby.
  • An excellent option for women who have anxieties about birth.
  • The date of the cesarean birth can be scheduled in advance. This means that you will know when your baby will arrive.
  • No problems with bladder control or pelvic organ prolapse.
  • No tears or injuries to the vaginal tissue.
  • Fast and efficient surgery can also save the mother and baby’s life in an emergency.

Disadvantages Of C-Sections

Are you thinking about having a planned c-section? 

As mentioned above, complications may arise, albeit very rare. As such, it’s important to be educated on the procedure. 

Let’s look at some of the disadvantages of a c-section birth.

  • After a cesarean birth, the mother typically has a more extended hospital stay. The postpartum symptoms are much more severe, so the mother will need assistance moving around before she can leave. Once she can leave the hospital, she will still be in recovery for at least two months.
  • Higher risk of the mother dying during childbirth than if she had a vaginal delivery.
  • After the first cesarean section, the mother may have complications in future pregnancies. This means she will most likely have a C-section if she gets pregnant again.
  • Babies born by c-sections are at a higher risk of having breathing issues. There is a higher rate of asthma in c-section babies.
  • Higher risk of infection to mothers during a c-section surgery.
  • Women will have a c-section scar.
  • There is a belief that c-sections present a higher risk of stillborn babies. However, more medical research is needed on this subject.
  • Although the risk is very rare, many women are worried that their newborn baby could get hurt by the scalpel during the surgery.

Can Every Woman Have A Natural Birth?

A vaginal birth is natural with minor risks. Although this method may appeal to most women, it’s impossible for everyone. 

There are certain situations in which a woman may not be able to have a natural birth. These may include:

  • The expectant mother has a health complication, such as blood clotting or diabetes.
  • The mother is over the age of 35.
  • The mother had a previous c-section delivery.
  • The fetus is underdeveloped.
  • Abnormal positioning of the fetus.
  • The mother is experiencing prolonged labor.
  • The mother is carrying multiple babies.
  • Complications include the mother’s heavy drinking (alcoholic beverages) or smoking habits.

Final Words

A natural birth allows the baby to be pushed out of the birth canal as they enter the world. 

C-section deliveries are medical procedures that require the doctor to remove the baby from the mother’s womb surgically. 

Unless you have a complication that prevents you from having a natural birth, you can choose either delivery method for your baby’s birth.

Have you decided on a vaginal birth or c-section yet? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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