Are you giving birth via a planned caesarean section (c-section) or having a normal delivery, with or without a midwife’s assistance? Whatever your birth plan entails, we’ve got you covered.

Expectant moms are faced with a myriad of decisions to make on how manage their pregnancy and the delivery of their baby is one of the biggest decisions. Let’s take a closer look at the different options and list the pros and the cons to help you determine which is best option for you and your baby.

Normal birth

A natural birth is the most common way of delivering a baby. There are two options here: natural birth without pain medication and interventions, or the use of epidurals and spinal anesthesia to relieve labour pains. Either of these options is relatively safe if the pregnancy does not have any complications.

Pros of normal birth:

  • Faster recovery after birth
  • Less vaginal tearing, since you’ll push instinctively during delivery
  • Ability to change birthing positions
  • Some women feel a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment
  • Ability to bond and breastfeed immediately

Cons of normal birth:

  • Pain must be managed without medical assistance (unless an epidural is elected)
  • Normal birth may not be possible for women with high-risk pregnancies
  • Due to medical reasons, the pregnant person may need interventions or drugs regardless of whether she opted not to make use of these
  • Potential for prolonged labour if the mother is tired, anxious, or stressed

Giving birth via a C-section

Cesarean delivery (C-section) is a surgical procedure used to deliver a baby through incisions in the abdomen and uterus. A C-section might be planned if you develop pregnancy complications, or if you’ve had a previous C-section and aren’t considering a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC). An expectant mother can also opt for an elective C-section as agreed to by her doctor for non-medical reasons.

Pros of an elective C-section:

  • Lower risk of incontinence and sexual dysfunction after the birth of the baby
  • Lower risk of the baby being deprived of oxygen during delivery
  • Lower risk of the baby experiencing trauma while passing through the birth canal

Cons of an elective C-section:

  • You’re more likely to need a repeat cesarean delivery with future pregnancies
  • There’s a higher risk of complications with cesarean deliveries
  • You’ll have a longer hospital stay (up to five days) and a longer recovery period

Using the services of a midwife

A midwife is a health professional trained to support and care for women during pregnancy, labour and birth. During prenatal visits, a midwife is usually able to spend more time with the pregnant woman than a doctor and the approach from a midwife tends to be more casual with a focus on developing a personal relationship with the patient.

Pros of using the services of a midwife:

  • Midwives are trained to be vigilant for anything that falls outside “normal” and that may require more specialised care
  • Midwives offer a more holistic approach to pregnancy and childbirth and can answer questions related to nutrition, exercise, relationships, emotions, breastfeeding, and parenting
  • Midwives encourage a more natural management of labour pain such as massage, relaxation, showering, switching positions, or walking around
  • A midwife may be able to offer a planned home birth or a water birth

Cons of using the services of a midwife:

  • Midwives carry only basic tools and cannot offer ultrasounds or anesthesia, for example
  • Midwives are not qualified to manage high-risk pregnancies or any acute problems or complications that may occur during childbirth
  • Midwives are not qualified to perform C-sections, should one become necessary emergently during labour

Different strokes for different folks right!

Bestmed has extensive maternity benefits, including a maternity care programme. The maternity care programme is available on all benefit options and provides comprehensive services to expectant parents. So, go ahead and choose what is best for you and your baby.

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