Your birth plan is personal. From where you plan to deliver to whom you want in the room with you, there’s a lot to consider when you’re anticipating your baby’s birth.
One of the biggest decisions is how you plan to deliver your baby. Vaginal birth is natural, and it’s often the best and safest way to give birth — but more than 30% of all births in the United States are cesarean deliveries.
Also called a C-section, cesarean birth delivers a baby via a surgical incision in your abdomen instead of vaginal birth. Some women choose elective cesarean deliveries, while others need them for medical reasons, but you don’t have to make your decision alone.
At Solace Women's Care, we’re here to help you have safe, healthy labor and delivery. Farly Sejour, MD, and our obstetrics team are highly trained in both vaginal birth and C-sections.
Whether your pregnancy is high risk and you have a scheduled C-section, or you’re planning for vaginal birth but you want to be prepared, it’s time to dispel some of the most common myths about cesarean delivery.
Myth: C-sections make birth easier
It’s a common misconception that choosing a C-section means avoiding the pain of labor and reducing your risk of related complications, like vaginal prolapse. If you have a C-section, you don’t feel pain during the procedure, but it is major abdominal surgery that requires a recovery period.
Fact: Recovery from C-section takes time
It’s true that you’ll be under local or general anesthesia if you have a C-section, but you may still feel tugging, pressure, and other sensations during birth. Once your baby is born, recovering from the procedure may be more difficult than recovering from vaginal birth.
Women who have C-sections may spend 4-5 days in the hospital, while women who have routine vaginal deliveries can expect to go home within a day or two. After you go home, be prepared to spend several weeks recovering from C-section surgery.
Myth: You can’t have skin-to-skin time after C-section
Skin-to-skin contact is an important practice for many new moms. It involves placing your newborn baby on your chest shortly after birth, and it offers a bonding opportunity and health benefits for you and your baby.
However, many women fear that they won’t be able to have skin-to-skin time following their C-section, because they’re hooked up to machines, wearing a hospital gown, or under anesthesia.
Fact: Skin-to-skin is possible after surgery
If having skin-to-skin time with your newborn is important to you, let Dr. Sejour and our team know ahead of time. Skin-to-skin may be possible immediately or shortly after your baby is born, even if you do have a C-section.
If for some reason you’re unable to participate, your partner may be able to have that time instead.
Myth: You can’t deliver vaginally after a C-section
When you have a C-section, your doctor makes an incision in your abdomen and uterus. You’re stitched up after your baby is born, but it’s a common misconception that the procedure means you’ll never be able to have a vaginal birth if you get pregnant again later.
Fact: Many women are candidates for VBAC
Vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) is the medical term to describe delivering a baby vaginally if you’ve had a C-section in the past. Whether you want to experience natural birth or you want to avoid complications related to multiple C-sections, talk to Dr. Sejour about your options.
Women who don’t have high-risk pregnancies and who are in generally good health are often candidates for VBAC. Some of the benefits of VBAC include a lower risk of complications during delivery and shorter recovery times.
Educating yourself about what happens during labor and delivery helps put you in control as you prepare for your baby’s birth. To find out more about the benefits of vaginal or cesarean delivery, schedule an appointment with Dr. Sejour. Contact us online or over the phone to get started.