Natural V/S Cesarean: What You Need To Know

Natural V/S Cesarean: What You Need To Know


As you near your due date, it is important you know the options available to you. Read this blog and to inform yourself about natural birth and cesareans*.

Do You know How You Want To Deliver Your Child?

I sat in my birthing class as one of the new parents spoke about how they decided on having a planned c-section.

I realised that I hadn’t even thought about my delivery, but everyone else seemed to have it planned out.

I turned my head to look up at my husband who was sitting behind me.

“I don’t even know what a planned c-section is” I whispered to my husband, who looked equally befuddled..

I decided to book an appointment with my doctor, so he could go through the different methods of delivery with me.

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Ways To Welcome Your Child

If you have not planned or decided how you would like to give birth, fear not!

Here is a snapshot of what your options entail:

Methods of Childbirth:

Natural birth1

Did you know that this is the safest and most common method of delivery at a hospital?

In certain circumstances, the child may need a little push coming out which is when we can use vacuum delivery to assist. A plastic cup is placed onto the child’s head by suction and the doctor will gently pull the child from the birth canal. However, vaginal birth may not be possible.

Cesarean delivery may be necessary for the safety of you and your child. Like most things, natural childbirth comes with its advantages and disadvantages:

Advantages of natural childbirth:2

  • There is little potential for harm for you and your child.
  • Your recovery process will be shorter in comparison to a c-section
  • You can move around more freely and find positions that help you stay comfortable during labor.

However, having a natural childbirth can cost up to RM8,000.

Advantages of having an epidural3:

  • Allows you to rest if you have prolonged labour.
  • By reducing the discomfort of childbirth, some women tend to have a more positive experience.
  • An epidural will help you to stay alert and be an active participant during the birth.

Disadvantages of not using an epidural:

  • Natural pain reduction techniques do not eliminate the pain, so if you don’t plan on working with the pain, you’re better off with an epidural.
  • Natural approaches do not provide sufficient pain management, especially if you are in a prolonged labour or in a complicated labour that will most likely need interventions.

Side effects of an epidural may include: shivering, ringing in your ears, backache and soreness from where the needle was inserted.A few hours after birth, the lower half of your body may feel numb. Resulting in needing assistance to walk.

One mother said “It was important for me to feel fully in control” about natural childbirth.4

Cesarean (C-section)

Usually C-sections are performed if you are not able to have a natural birth e.g. if the child is too big to pass through. If this is the case, your doctor will advise you about the pro’s and con’s so that you are prepared.

Planned C-sections are different. Your doctor or midwife has found a medical reason for you to have one, but it's not necessarily an emergency. Two examples are that you've had a previous C-section or if your child is not in the optimal position for a natural birth. You and your doctor may even decide later that a vaginal birth is a better choice.

Some healthy women want the surgery so they can pick their delivery date or avoid a vaginal delivery. Those aren't medical reasons, and their doctors may disagree with that choice.C-sections come with their own risks and complications such as:

  • Pain - Going through natural childbirth will be painful, but the after affects of a C-section are no stroll in the park either. You will take longer to recover and abdominal pain can last up to a few months after the surgery.
  • Blood clot - You could develop a blood clot which can be life-threatening depending on where the clot forms.
  • Having a cesarean can cost up to RM17,000.5

There are many other things potential risks with a C-section, so before you plan to have one, make sure you consult your doctor about what’s right for you.

4 weeks later, childbirth turned out to be one of the most beautiful experiences in my life. I was glad that I had prepared by finding out the pros and cons of each option. After seeing my child’s face for the first time, I knew that all my hard work had been rewarded.

Don’t make your decisions based on what everyone else is doing. Have faith that you are prepared and believe in yourself.

Stay positive and enjoy the amazing experience that is childbirth.

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