Caesarean versus natural birth
Most women prefer a natural birth over a caesarean. For the vast majority of woman a natural birth is safer than through caesarean section. Although c-section births are common today, they are not as safe.
In a small amount of woman a c-section birth could be life-saving, but it is physically damaging to the body. It is a major abdominal surgical procedure. There is also a risk that organs around the uterus could be damaged. The baby could also suffer from any accidental cuts during the operation.
So it’s clear that caesarean births hold risk, but what about natural births? Natural births can pose risks to the mother’s pelvic floor. This is most likely caused by intervention during the pushing stage. Some woman experience incontinence following a natural birth, but this diminishes over time.
There is a higher risk of blot clots with a c-section and hysterectomy is more common following a caesarean. There is also a risk of uterine infection and there is normally a longer stay in hospital if you choose c-section. Mothers may feel more pain during a natural birth, but after the birth the pain will subside. Pain from c-section births can continue for a few weeks or even months.
Before making your choice between caesarean versus natural birth you should discuss your options with your midwife. If a c-section is proposed during labour, try to get as much information on your options before making your decision, and remember that you have the right to a second opinion.