You’ve got your doula labour assistant on standby. Your birthing mat’s arrived for your natural birth delivery. And your midwife’s just checked your baby’s position. Alas, baby’s breech positioning is unchanged. And the midwife hasn’t been successful in turning baby into the optimal birthing position.
It’s bitterly disappointing. But sometimes life – or the new one on its way – has different plans in store for you.
When C-sections are necessary
Although the act of natural vaginal birthing has been instinctively performed by billions of women since time immemorial, medical intervention is sometimes required during the birthing process.
Apart from babies being in the feet-first breech position just prior to the onset of labour, there are numerous other emergency circumstances that can threaten the safety of baby or mother which warrant a Caesarian Section as a medical necessity.
Urgent situations which could be life-threatening to the mother or baby include the mother bleeding heavily, a compromised fetal heart rate or the lack of sufficient oxygen to the foetus.
Less critical scenarios for a C-Section that could also harm the health of mother or baby include an overweight or obese mother or the large size of the baby. Excessively long labour could be another.
Whatever the reason, there’s no escaping the fact that C-Sections are a major surgical procedure. Which means it can take you up to six weeks to fully recover during that all-important, baby-bonding phase.
Advantages of a C-section
Natural, vaginal deliveries remain undisputed for their healthy effects, life-giving and bonding benefits to both mother and child. Designed to have a baby, your body even releases helpful chemicals to cope with the pain of labour.
But in certain Western cultures, particularly the United States, the line between elective and necessary C-Sections has become somewhat blurred in recent years.There, and in other developed countries to a lesser extent, part of the increasing popularity of the C-Section are the numerous advantages for the mum-to-be.
- Perhaps the most popular reason of all to have a C-Section is, ironically, not to feel the pain of labour through natural vaginal childbirth – but you’ll still be able to be mentally and emotionally present at, and be involved in the birth of your baby. Even if your body is numbed out by the pain-killing epidural.
- You’ll be able to do all sorts of advance planning by knowing your fixed date of delivery.
- Baby’s travels down the birth canal is an important kick-start to her immune system. But it can also be a traumatic experience for some. And why certain mothers may wish to opt for the C-Section where the baby is merely lifted out of her body.
- Although the most natural thing in the world, the more self-conscious woman may regard having her vagina peered into up close and personal as invasive or undignified. By comparison, C-Sections are perceived as a more graceful approach to birthing.
- Many naturally-delivered babies are temporary ‘coneheads’ as a result of traveling down the birth passage. You’ll have a nice, round-headed baby from the start.
Although you’ll still be subject to stitching, it will hopefully be a discreet affair, with the scar low down enough on your abdomen to be forgettable. Unlike your natural birth contemporaries, who could easily have suffered from a perineum tear during labour, requiring stitches of their own. Perineum tears could result in the shape of your vagina being visually altered to a permanent slant if you are stitched up less-than-perfectly afterwards.
Another positive aspect of undisturbed skin elsewhere will benefit both you and your partner. Your vaginal wall didn’t have to suffer from any kind of an internal workout during your birth process, and therefore remains unscathed. And unstretched.
And assuming you’re both still interested in and aroused by each other sexually, that aspect of your lives together can remain one of unchanged pleasure (taking into account the necessary recovery period from the operation).
Whether you buy into your medical professional’s recommendation for a C-Section based on your and your baby’s safety, or whether having one is a purely elective decision on your part, one thing will remain.
The single bit of evidence of one of your most life-changing events will be that abdominal scar. Your ill-gained battle scar – obtained without much of a battle at all when you have a C-Section!