Should you have a natural birth or C-section? Neither of these is necessarily better than the other. In fact, whether to have a natural birth or a C-section may or may not be the parents’ choice in the end.
Natural birth is a term that was originally used to describe childbirth without any anesthesia or other routine medical interventions. However, in recent years, it has evolved to become almost synonymous with vaginal birth, regardless of whether the labor was induced or an epidural was used.
A C-section, on the other hand, is a delivery that has occurred through the use of surgery. There are two types of C-section:
- Planned or elective C-section: A C-section that is scheduled by a doctor because the mother wants it or because it is considered safer than vaginal delivery for medical reasons.
- Unplanned or emergency C-section: A C-section that occurs during labor or in the course of the pregnancy that necessitates a C-section because the mother’s or the baby’s life may be in danger.
Should you choose natural birth or a C-section?
Because C-sections for first-time mothers often lead to repeat C-sections in subsequent births, vaginal births are preferred in Malaysian hospitals unless a medical reason necessitates a C-section.
That said, you need to be as informed as possible about all your childbirth options. This will allow you to have a voice in the delivery process. Whether you want a natural birth or a C-section delivery, it is your right to say so.
No matter what mode of delivery you wish to go for, the first thing you have to do is carefully select your preferred delivery hospital. As a minimum, you want it to have the capacity to handle emergency C-sections. Pregnancies can be very unpredictable. You’ll at least have some control over how the process goes by choosing the right hospital for you.
Other things to consider:
C-sections are generally more expensive than natural births.
If you have a limited budget, giving birth in a government hospital might be your best option. However, keep in mind that government hospitals encourage natural births. C-sections are only done when it is absolutely necessary, like in the event of birth complications.
Planned C-sections are also discouraged unless you have a high-risk pregnancy. The final decision will be made by the senior doctor at your chosen hospital.
Some local hospitals and clinics may not have the capacity to handle C-section deliveries.
- Other parents’ experiences
Talk to other parents who have gone through the same process and find out what their experience was like. They might offer you useful pointers that you can use in your delivery to your advantage.
- Your gynecologist
You also want to carefully choose your gynecologist. You want to make sure that they are someone you can openly talk to. This is very important because you’ll need a trusted source of information that you can consult and ask questions to help you have a clearer picture of what to expect.
Since births are unpredictable, try to learn as much as you can about the birth process from your gynecologist. Discuss your birth plan and preferences with them before labor for the best outcome.
Finally, keep in mind that the safety of the mother and the baby will always be prioritized during childbirth. While vaginal delivery is usually preferred by most expectant moms and healthcare providers alike, when it is considered too risky for medical reasons, a planned C-section delivery may be discussed with the parents. In an emergency, an emergency C-section delivery may also be prompted to save the baby or the mother’s life.