Risks of C-Section vs. Vaginal Birth

Many believe the c-section vs. vaginal birth debate is a matter of choice. But evidence proves natural birth is safest for most moms and babies. .

You’re told that interventions do not affect your baby or your body, and that cesarean section is just as safe as vaginal birth. These are lies.

There are some situations where c-section is safer for mother and child, sometimes lifesaving. The same is true of interventions with vaginal birth. However, the majority of women and babies are safer with a vaginal birth and no interventions.

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Risks of Cesarean

With a cesarean rate over 30% in the USA, and even higher in other countries, many women are going through surgery that’s unnecessary and emotionally damaging.

A c-section is also physically damaging. It is a major abdominal surgery. All cesareans involve a wound across the abdomen and the uterus. There is also risk of damage to organs around the uterus, including the possibility of nicking the bowel. Babies can also suffer accidental cuts from cesarean operations.

There’s a higher risk of blot clots following a c-section than a vaginal birth. Hysterectomy is more common after cesarean. The risk of maternal death is higher.

The risk of uterine infection is much higher after a c-section than it is after a vaginal birth. There is usually a longer hospital stay for the mother, and you’re at a higher risk of being re-admitted to the hospital later for complications.

The severity and length of pain after a cesarean is much greater than after a vaginal birth. You may feel more pain during a vaginal birth than you would during a cesarean (because of the pain medications given for surgery). Shortly after birth most of that pain will be gone (unless you receive intervention such as episiotomy). Pain from cesarean surgery continues on into the early weeks and for some women, months.

Risks for Baby

There’s a risk of cutting your baby during cesarean surgery. Babies born by c-section are much more likely to have respiratory problems than babies born by vaginal birth

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Best Evidence C-Section. Childbirth Connection. childbirthconnection.org/article.asp?ck=10166.Childbirth Connection (2012). Vaginal Birth or Cesarean Birth: What Is at Stake for Women and Babies? New York: Childbirth Connection.

What Every Woman Needs to Know About Cesarean Section. Childbirth Connection. childbirthconnection.org/pdfs/cesareanbooklet.pdf

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