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Natural labour or c section

(21 Posts)
firsttimemumm Mon 14-Jan-19 15:54:34

Whats easier or less painful, if you could choose what would you have?

Wondering what the pros and cons are of each as its my first time and literally petrified because im only 5ft2 and petite. smile

Open to all advice and suggestions

OP’s posts: |
Bigonesmallone3 Mon 14-Jan-19 16:00:45

Both have there pros and cons, being 5ft 2 and petite doesn't meant you will find it harder to give birth, I would always say if you have no medical reason to have a c-section then do it naturally..

SoyDora Mon 14-Jan-19 16:05:36

I’m petite with a very small frame and have had 3 straightforward vaginal births, minor tear with my first but no tearing at all with my second and third, just used gas and air, same day discharges and walking the school run with the pram the next day. I was very lucky. All births are different and there’s no way of knowing how it will go or how your recovery will be beforehand unfortunately.
I would always opt to try for a vaginal birth over a c-section, but those who have had bad experiences with a vaginal birth will obviously think otherwise. There’s no real answer to your question!

cakesandphotos Mon 14-Jan-19 16:16:29

A straightforward labour would be a much easier recovery. With a c section you can’t drive, or carry your baby in the car seat or do laundry and (at least in my experience) it bloody hurts for ages after. If there’s no medical reason I would at least try to have a natural delivery. Having said all that, I plan on having an elective c section next time but I have medical complications

Seline Mon 14-Jan-19 16:19:19

I've only had cesareans but they aren't particularly painful. One was quite sore but it was an emergency situation where they had minutes and I was under a general anaesthetic. A normal planned and most emergency cesareans use spinal anaesthesia which keeps the area pain free for the first day or so and the prescribed painkillers help with it for the next few days.

I would have another cesarean were I to do it again.

ladymarian Mon 14-Jan-19 16:19:21

I've had one of each and would choose C section every time! Recovery time about the same in my experience but at least with the c section you get the pain relief you need. I felt worse after my "natural"birth tbh.

SoyDora Mon 14-Jan-19 16:23:21

Obviously it entirely depends on your labour but my ‘recovery time’ after vaginal births was 0. I was fine straight away.

auberbene Mon 14-Jan-19 16:26:31

I'm the same stature as you OP and I had a really rough natural birth.

I think a lot of that, in hindsight, was because I was really physically unfit despite always being slim. It meant that I just didn't have a lot of stamina and tired very quickly. That led me to having to have an episiotomy and ventouse delivery.

There's no way that I would've been given a CS unless it was for medical reasons, though.

Everyone's different and there's no way to really tell how labour will go for anyone. Build doesn't come into it. I know a tiny tiny woman (size 4) who was in labour for a few hours and only came out with a graze!

I really wish that I'd looked more into hypnobirthing. I thought it was just some wishy washy crap but I've heard amazing things smile

ReaganSomerset Mon 14-Jan-19 16:29:21

There was a thread a few days ago about the worst pain you've ever been in. There were a few women whose epidural/anaesthetic did work during c section and they woke up halfway through or were paralysed but could feel everything... Very rare of course, but shock

ReaganSomerset Mon 14-Jan-19 16:30:23

*didn't, not did.

Dinosauratemydaffodils Mon 14-Jan-19 16:40:04

I labour in my back regardless of baby position and I've never felt pain like it. My c-section recoveries just didn't hurt at all, no need for pain relief and especially with my 2nd where I didn't have the crushing mind fog of PnD and other issues, I was back to "normal" extremely fast. No numbness, no nerve pain, no scar issues but that's not true across the board.

There is no "right" answer which will apply to all women however despite my awful labours/easy c-sections, I think I would probably err towards advising suggesting you just see what happens unless a medical need for a c-section presents itself. You might be like my grandmother who is tiny and gave birth to 5 x 10Ib babies very easily or you might be like me, who managed to get six pound nine ounce baby stuck in their pelvis and end up with an emergency section.

WhiteWashGails Mon 14-Jan-19 17:18:45

My friend had a 7 pound baby and she was 4 foot 7

WhiteWashGails Mon 14-Jan-19 17:18:53

Naturally oops

CosmicComet Mon 14-Jan-19 17:31:21

Depends how it goes. One friend had an easy vaginal birth with no stitches at all. Another had a severe tear that needed multiple surgeries and a year of physio to regain some bowel control, and three years later she still sometimes shits herself.

Ditto with c-sections. Mine went well but my stomach is permanently numb from belly button to bikini line. And I read an article about tv presenter Sarah Cawood who nearly died from adhesions caused by scar tissue after her c-section, she nearly died and needed an emergency op to remove most of her bowel.

I liked my c-section and I’m quite pleased about having the same intact vagina I started with and not pissing myself. So that would be my choice, but it’s a personal decision and you can’t predict the outcome.

DuploRelatedInjury Mon 14-Jan-19 17:37:25

I've had both. There are pros and cons to both but I found healing from my 3rd degree tear much easier than from the C Section.

There are more risks from a hypothetical c section than a hypothetical straightforward vaginal birth but there's no way of knowing whether a vaginal birth will be straightforward or not!

3babyxx Mon 14-Jan-19 18:38:29

Iv had 3 natural vaginal births and I'm petite and 5ft 1 my biggest baby was 9lb he was born in 15 minutes !

Unless I had a medical issue I would be to scared to have a c section .

All 3 of my labours done with no pain relief so I can't really say a bad word about them but does depend on what happens every one is different

SoyDora Mon 14-Jan-19 18:53:01

I’m quite pleased about having the same intact vagina I started with and not pissing myself

My vagina is intact and I’ve never pissed myself after 3 vaginal births grin

Sleeplikeasloth Tue 15-Jan-19 09:29:10

During birth: this one is simple. C section hurts elss when it's being done. No hours days of labour, and contraction pain. No tearing without pain relief, no shudder quick episiotomy without pain relief. No feeling of crowning, none of that.

Putting the cannula in and the spinal were slightly uncomfortable, but not really painful, and that was it. Zero pain birth.

After the birth: with natural you have a chance of a very quick/instant recovery, but if you are like the vast majority of women (90% ish ftm), you'll end up with some sort of birth injury. Some will be quicker to recover from than a section, some slower, many about the same.

Personally I found the section easy to recover from. I was googling 'when does it start to hurt' the day after! I did take painkillers for a couple of weeks, and tried to minimise lifting, but I went out every day after coming back from hospital and felt like i recovered very quickly.

pinkground202 Tue 15-Jan-19 09:35:05

I had both and found the c sections ( I had 2) much easier, I recovered more quickly and had very little pain in comparison to a pretty severe tear. I was up and walking comfortably the following day after the c sections, while I shuffled around in a lot of discomfort for weeks after the natural delivery.

CookPassBabtridge Tue 15-Jan-19 09:49:05

I've only had sections due to maternal request so I'm biased, but still feel happy at my choices when I look back. They were great experiences and I'm relieved I didn't have to go through birth.

ReaganSomerset Tue 15-Jan-19 12:45:01

For what it's worth, I had a natural birth and there were about two hours of intense pain and about ten to twenty minutes of very intense pain. I had a second degree tear that required stitching. I have no lasting after effects and was out and about with baby at three days post partum. I felt fine in myself pretty much straight away. Of the mums in my nct class, seven out of eight had vaginal births, none suffered lasting damage. There were two episiotomies and a tear (me, I refused episiotomy). A friend of mine had a ten pound baby and didn't tear- best position to avoid it is on all fours as she did but I couldn't get comfortable in that position. Tearing can't always be avoided but you can minimise it.

Giving birth naturally is a tough thing for your body to go through, but if you prepare for it properly (I didn't, BTW, but made an attempt) it makes it a whole lot easier. There's physical and mental preparation you can do that helps enormously. Things may still go wrong of course, but they can with c section too (your chance of dying during c section is higher than dying from giving birth naturally, though still very rare).

There is some research on the benefits of vaginal birth for the baby that suggests going through the birth canal and being coated with bacteria as part of the process kicks starts the baby's immune system and reduces the chance of asthma and eczema. It also squeezes the amniotic fluid out of baby's lungs, helping them breathe more easily.

www.scienceandsensibility.org/blog/unintended-consequences-cesarean-section,-the-gut-microbiota,-and-child-health

I'm going for the same type of birth next time, unless there are risk factors that make that more dangerous.

Good luck whatever you choose, OP.

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