Delivery

4 reasons why pregnant women choose c-section over natural childbirth

August 20 , 2019
Nicky Langley
Nicky Langley is a mother of four and a professional Doula, Hypnobirthing teacher and Breastfeeding Supporter....More

Many women decide early on in their pregnancies that they want to schedule a planned C Section for reasons other than a medical indication.  The most common reason for making this decision is simply fear.  Fear of the unknown, fear of pain, fear of injury to themselves or their baby.

During the years I have been working as a doula and hypnobirthing teacher I have come across many pregnant mums who initially wanted to plan a C Section.  The most common reason for this in my experience is due to the fact that they are either related to or know someone who has had a bad natural birth experience. 

I recently taught hypnobirthing to a lovely young mum whose own mother had a traumatic birth many years ago due to an undiagnosed breech.  My young mum had grown up with the understanding that birth was a dangerous and painful experience, she had listened to stories told by her own mother and under no circumstances wanted to attempt a natural birth herself. 

I’m thrilled to say that after completing my course her misconceptions had gone and she was confident and positive about giving birth naturally.  She went on to have a wonderful experience and is so happy that she overcame her fears.  I am especially happy about this as she has a younger sister who is now not terrified of birth after seeing how things could be different.  Hopefully this means she will go on to have happy, healthy natural deliveries in the future.

I also had a Brazilian client some years ago who hired me for hypnobirthing classes.  She explained that she knew of no woman in her family who had delivered a baby vaginally.  There is a very high C Section rate in Brazil and quite honestly some women see this as their only option.  My client was determined to break the trend and educate herself in order to make a good, informed decision.  As the weeks went by she appeared to grow in confidence and then at about 30 weeks she decided that she was going to attempt a vaginal delivery. 

This decision worried and upset her family who had come to believe that C Section was the only safe option.  As a young (28 years), healthy woman with no medical risk factors, she was a perfect candidate for a vaginal delivery and she went on to give birth naturally to a perfect baby boy.  Again I hope her experience will help educate her family and friends.

A major worry for some mums and thus a reason for deciding on a C Section is that of tearing and requiring stitches.  This is a subject all women find frightening.  Of course there are occasions where this can happen but with correct guidance and breathing it is possible to minimise this risk.  Remember, this is what our bodies are made to do, we are designed to give birth so trust your body!

A common worry I hear is “I don’t think I can cope with the pain, why should I put myself through the pain of labour if I can have a pain free C Section”?  The fact is that C Section is NOT the easy option, it is a major operation, albeit a common one, it is not without risks and can take a while for recovery to take place which can interfere with early postnatal bonding/feeding etc.

I also come across many women who decide to have a C Section after previously having had a C Section and believing that it wasn’t possible to have a vaginal birth after C Section (VBAC), it is absolutely possible for women with no medical contraindications to attempt this.

I would urge any woman who is considering having a planned C Section for non medical reasons to undertake some form of hypnobirthing or birth education classes in order to learn the facts about birth and how we can learn methods of overcoming our fears.  

However, I must emphasise that I feel strongly that all women should have the choice to birth their babies in ways that are right for them without judgement, as long as they are educated. 

Good luck to every woman planning the arrival of their baby in whatever way is right for them.  There is NO right or wrong way to give birth!!