Elective cesareans are a hot topic in the birth world. More and more first time mothers are electing to schedule a cesarean birth instead of having a vaginal birth, even with no medical reason to do so. Although there is more persuading and work to be done, more and more healthcare providers are beginning to persuade pregnant women away from elective cesareans.
Women may choose elective cesareans due to being able to schedule the birth of their baby, which provides convenience to them. Some women also believe that it may help prevent some complications such as tearing, incontinence, or sexual dysfunction, which sometimes may be related to a vaginal delivery. On the other hand, there are many complications from having a cesarean birth such as tearing or infection.
It is important to understand that a giving birth naturally and vaginally is what a woman’s body was made to do. Choosing to do an elective cesarean is a surgical procedure and should only be performed if mom or baby is at risk or in a dangerous situation. There are far more complications that can arise from having an elective cesarean than from having a natural, vaginal birth.
A lot of women believe scheduling an elective cesarean means they have more control of what is going on with the birth of their child. Yes, they may be able to schedule and know when their baby arrives, but cesareans are not scheduled until the mother is 39 weeks. A baby can come earlier than that! Also, once you enter a hospital and become under the care of your physician and anesthesiologist, you are in their hands and their rules apply. If you have a vaginal birth, you are able to control when you enter the hospital and have more say in what is done to you, as you are not a surgical patient and you are also able to move around.
Another reason why some pregnant women may schedule an elective cesarean is because they are scared and nervous about the amount of pain they may experience during a vaginal childbirth. A lot of women believe that they will be under the care of an anesthesiologist and will not feel a thing. This may be true during the actual procedure, but recovery is not easy for an elective cesarean patient. There is much more recovery time and due to your incision and pain it may be harder for you to tend to your newborn and begin a successful breastfeeding relationship.
If you decide to give birth vaginally, you can still receive pain medication to help ease the pain. Many women do not realize that is an option. Hiring a doula will also help assist women with a smooth and better delivery. A doula is a great individual to have by your side to help ease your pain, keep you aware of what is going on, and advocate for you when you are in labor.
Once you have a cesarean birth, it is hard to ever have a vaginal birth. Many healthcare providers will not allow you or agree to be your provider if you are wanting to have a vaginal birth after cesarean due to risks and complications that may arise. If you know you may want to have more babies, thinking about this now is important because it may affect the way you give birth in the future.
Giving birth can be a very scary thing for a newly pregnant, first time mom. It is important to remember that women have been giving birth for centuries and centuries and it is a completely normal thing. Women who go to birthing classes, do their research, hire a doula and prepare themselves for childbirth, have a very successful childbirth and end up loving the experience.