Is natural birth better than Caesarean?
Have you heard about how natural birthing is better than having a C-section but are not sure why? Find out what’s getting the experts to advise more women to opt for natural labour instead of a Caesarean section.
In comparing the two birthing processes, many mums agree that natural birth is their preferred choice over having a Caesarean section. For those who are open to both, though, experts have recently started encouraging mothers to have a natural birth instead of a C-section. We tell you why the experts say that natural births are better than C-sections.
RELATED: Reasons for choosing natural birth
Lower likelihood of infections
As compared to vaginal deliveries, C-sections put mums in more more vulnerable state as they are more prone to scarring and infections around their wounds. If not cared for properly, the C-section cut might promote bacterial infections which would be very harmful for a mother who had just delivered.
Better contact between baby and mother
At the International Conference On Birth Without Borders in Malaysia held by the Malaysian Breastfeeding Association, the Malaysian Health Ministry and the International Mother-Baby Friendly Initiative Coalition, childbirth and midwifery expert Dr Robbie Davis-Floyd said that C-sections might be detrimental to the contact between a mother and newborn, affecting bonding and breastfeeding processes thereafter too.
RELATED: First week with your newborn
According to Dr Davis-Floyd, when a baby is born naturally and first touched by its mother, the mother’s bacteria “colonises” the baby. This bacteria is necessary for the baby as he or she grows up with their mother.
For a baby born via Caesarean, the bacteria that “colonises” the child is that of the nurse’s of the doctor’s, making the child less used to its own mother’s bacteria and in the long run causing him or her to be more susceptible to illnesses while growing up in their own homes. This lack of contact indirectly causes many diseases and ailments later in a baby’s life.
When a mother gives birth to her baby naturally, a huge rush of oxytocin, a necessary hormone for and after the childbirth process, is released at the final push. Commonly known as the “love hormone”, oxytocin helps you fall in love with your baby and thus facilitates better bonding.
Additionally, this hormone allows breast milk to be released more easily, making breastfeeding easier too. As a newborn smells the milk being let down upon its birth, it helps him or her latch on better when breastfed in future, a plus point that babies delivered via C-section miss out on.
RELATED: Latching and unlatching during feeds
Encouraging natural births
Dr Davis-Floyd reinforced her message that natural birth is a better choice for delivering mums as she promoted labour with reduced drug use and taught hospitals and midwives how to make natural labour more comfortable for mums.
Instead of lying on one’s back while in labour, mums should be sat upright and only push when there are contractions. This is because pushing when there is no contraction is painful and could damage a woman’s cervix.
The importance of close contact after birth
Having your baby close to you is perhaps the best thing that a mother can ask for immediately after delivery. It is also the best thing that doctors are pushing for, regardless of whether a mum is pushing naturally or having a C-section.
With benefits ranging from medical to emotional as well as those both long term and immediate, natural birth is naturally a preferred option for both mums and medical personnel. In both cases of natural birth and C-section, though, the health and well-being of a mother and child is of utmost importance throughout the entire process and should not be compromised regardless.