Weighing the Benefits of Natural Birth
The number of
c-section (A cesarean section, also called a c-section, is a
surgical procedure performed when a vaginal delivery is not possible or safe, or
when the health of the mother or the baby is at risk. During this procedure, the
baby is delivered through surgical incisions made in the abdomen and the
uterus.) deliveries has increased steeply from 4.5 percent of
all deliveries in 1965 to 29.1 percent in 2006.
Birth has an enormous positive value for the
lifelong physical and spiritual health and well-being of a mother as well of
New research suggests mothers who deliver vaginally may have a heightened
bond with their babies compared to mothers who deliver via
(c-section). Researchers found mothers who delivered their babies vaginally were
significantly more responsive to the cry of their own baby than mothers who had
c-section delivery. MRI brain scans showed the mothers who delivered vaginally
were more sensitive to their baby's cry in the regions of the brain that
regulate emotions, motivation and habitual behaviors.
This difference may be because delivering a child naturally involves the
pulsatile release of oxytocin from the posterior pituitary, uterine contractions
and vagino-cervical stimulation, whereas c-section delivery does not.
Benefits of Natural Childbirth
Mothers who labor naturally can move freely, go to the bathroom, walk
and change positions throughout
labor. According to the Cochrane Review,
recent studies have shown that getting medication makes changing positions
even after birth more difficult.
Since you can feel your body's reflexes in natural childbirth, mothers
better and generally faster. In fact studies show that getting an epidural
prolongs your pushing time.
The pain during labor serves a purpose by guiding the mother to seek
certain positions. For example, if her back hurts, she will naturally seek
positions off her back which can help to turn her baby. Having
back pain is
one sign that the baby might be posterior and needs to rotate.
Mothers often describe that their recovery after a natural childbirth
was faster and easier since they could get right up and walk and shower.
Usually they eat right away and their appetite is normal.
Endorphins secreted during a natural childbirth have been found in the
placenta and umbilical cord. This may serve a purpose to help the baby adjust
to life outside as well as make the journey more comfortable for baby.
Research has shown that in mothers who have natural childbirth, babies are
more alert and show more interest in pre-breastfeeding behaviours such as
sucking and massaging the mother's breasts, as well as the actual length of time
they spend nursing within the first 90 minutes.
Normal born babies delivered through vagina are always healthier than
medically born babies such as those in test tubes experimentation or the child
is premature. This is because they are born naturally by their mother as such
they should be born. They have attained the required period of gestation.
Babies born from the vagina have
stronger lungs adapted in time to carry oxygen to the body tissues.
Benefits of Medicated Birth
Mothers who are having a
very long labor can benefit from using pain medication to get some rest
before the pushing stage.
If the mother is tensing up during contractions,
pain medication can
help her relax so that her body is not fighting against the labor.
If the mother has a lot of fear about birth or issues from her past, it
may affect the progress of her labor. At times, medication may help to ease
C-section may be considered necessary under some conditions for the health
and wellbeing of both mother and child
For more on Natural Birth vs. Medicated Birth,