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Vaginal birth or c-section??

(32 Posts)
happygolucky6 Thu 11-Jun-20 21:07:55

Just wondering what everyone's experiences where with both a vaginal birth and c-sections.

It's coming up to the time that I have to choose my birth plan and I just want to know I chose with all information rather than picking one just because I know more about it.

Also, if you have a c-section, do they book it from week 40 onwards? Or do they do them from 38 weeks onwards?

Any advice, information, experiences would be welcome. 💕

OP’s posts: |
MrsJaneyp Thu 11-Jun-20 21:11:58

Oooo following because I'd like to know this

Marlena1 Thu 11-Jun-20 21:20:02

Hi OP, my first was a planned section as she was breech. The experience was lovely (although I wanted natural). 39 +4 days but after bank hol so not sure if that's the norm. I had a bleed but went on iron tablets and it wasn't a big deal. Second time around I really wanted to try naturally. I ended up having to be induced. It was fine though. I had a cut (which I didn't feel till after) and I had really bad piles but I will say apart from that I felt physicaly a lot better. I think it would depend for me on how many children you are planning on having. Second sections (I've heard) are tougher. Plus breastfeeding was much harder to establish (although I hadn't read up on this and started on a backfoot). HTH

Marlena1 Thu 11-Jun-20 21:26:56

Sorry *physically! Plus also I should have also said vaginally as you did!

mouse1234567 Thu 11-Jun-20 21:32:16

Hi, I just gave birth 3 days ago- first child so can’t compare experiences but had a vaginal birth. Baby was breech till 37 weeks so actually thought I would need section but he turned in time.

It’s so personal and of course birth plans can change very quickly, many close friends have ended with emergency sections. I was lucky- I went into labour early at 39 weeks so didn’t need induction, something which I know can lead to more pain and interventions.

I had an IVf pregnancy and quite a large baby and had always been set on going to the labour ward because I wanted doctors very much to hand-however when I went in the labour ward was massively busy and they offered me a place in the birth centre on the day. Anyway in the end I went for the birth centre and boy am I glad I did. Amazing room with personal midwife, shower, birth pool, chairs, pregnancy ball, bed. You can get drug options but not epidural in birth centre so worth considering that when making the decision.

Birth is of course painful but I look back on the experience in such a positive way, has and air really helped, I was encouraged to move around a lot and when I was nearly there the water provided some lovely relief. It was so lovely not having a doctor present or needing to be present for the whole procedure. The midwives were incredible, very relaxed , very skilled.

As I say though I was lucky it all went smoothly -I know birth centres aren’t an option for high risk pregnancies. I have also heard very positive things about planned sections.

In terms of aftermath, I was feeling good and myself basically as soon as birth was over. A second degree tear which required some stitches but I know that sections can be a lot to cover from.

I would have the birth I had again in a second if I got to choose, but with hindsight it’s so easy to say isn’t it and the one thing we all know about birth is it doesn’t always go to plan. I understand I was lucky it went to plan. Saying that I didn’t really have a plan and the birth was so much less medicalised surprise than I thought I would want so I guess I had little expectations. Also loved using the hypnobirthing techniques.

Good luck.

mouse1234567 Thu 11-Jun-20 21:35:01

@Marlena1 I second the haemorrhoids!

Also OP to be honest I have some strange ‘cosmetic ‘ injuries to vagina-can’t imagine it’s ever going to look quite the same!

Mummyofmay2020 Thu 11-Jun-20 21:43:00

Mine was vaginal and pretty traumatic, needed forceps and episiotomy. The pain of contractions after water broke was unbearable for me. Took me a few weeks to mentally process it, but I've been told vaginal recovery is generally much quicker and easier than c section recovery and I know others who have had much more positive experiences.

CheesePleaseLoueese Thu 11-Jun-20 21:46:51

I've had two c-sections and I'm about to have my third. The first was one deemed medically necessary (planned but not emergency), the second was my choice (i was given the choice of vbac v c-section and I plumped for another section), and this third one I was sort of steered into because I've had two sections and I'm old!

All my c-sections were scheduled in for 39 weeks. They really don't like to book you in any earlier unless they have concerns for the baby/you...

So - I can't comment on vaginal deliveries at all. But - what I can say - is that my two previous c-sections went brilliantly and I was out of hospital the next day for both. Quick recoveries and I've had no long-term issues with either.

Quackersandcheese3 Thu 11-Jun-20 21:48:14

DS . Was offered elective section at 40 weeks because they thought he was measuring big. I leapt at the chance coz It seemed like the safest and easiest option, I still remember it so clearly 4 years on.

DD chose to have elective section again . Delivered at 39 weeks . Totally fine .

mynameiscalypso Thu 11-Jun-20 21:48:21

I had an ELCS for a variety of reasons. It was booked for 39 weeks as I didn't want to risk going into labour and having to have an EMCS. I had a great experience, all very straightforward and quick recovery - much quicker than most of my friends a lot of who ended up being induced and having long labours and traumatic births/EMCS.

CheesePleaseLoueese Thu 11-Jun-20 21:48:39

Good luck with your choice OP!

KayBM Thu 11-Jun-20 21:53:27


Well before giving birth...I would have said vaginal. In my experience they tell you you might have a tear but say it's nothing to worry about, that there's a slightly higher risk of incontinence but it's common after both types of birth... Do you know anything about risks or benefits of both types of birth?

I thought that I would just be a bit sore initially...

Thought I had a good chance of a straightforward vaginal birth. Well 1 in 3 first time mother's need an assisted birth the new rcog leaflet says. Quite a lot of women need emergency c sections.

I thought a vaginal birth was safer for me and my baby...then had a horrendous Kiellands forceps delivery, due to poor antenatal education and speaking with a midwife who essentially misled me. According to what I've read kiellands are used when they can do a c section instead without too much difficulty. If I had known...I would have refused.

I personally wouldn't give birth vaginally again, if I was to have another baby. Although physically, it wouldn't be a good idea to give birth vaginally again. No doubt that's not what the obstetrician conducting my delivery thought would happen...having forceps means you are a lot more likely to have a subsequent vaginal birth. They didn't tell me this was the reason they were going to use forceps...

You have to consider what's best for you in the short and long term.

I was told by a doctor that I would be having another baby soon...I felt like a vessel.

Some women have easy births if they're lucky. Some women feel cared for and respected during birth. Some of us don't feel supported, informed or cared for...and end up emotionally and physically affected.

It's not for anyone to tell you. But I am sure plenty of women here can give you our thoughts or experiences. It's a question of what risks or benefits you want to take. Also consider the frequency and likelihood of risks.

Hileni Thu 11-Jun-20 21:55:49

For the love of all that is holy get a C-section.

I had a vaginal birth. 2 years later I'm awaiting surgury. They want to use mesh and while I'm waiting I have to do a colonial irrigation every day because I can't push anymore or my womb prolapses out of my body too much. I can't run, I can't cough. Life is shit. They don't tell you that can happen in pregnancy class.

If I could go back, I'd get a c section. Yes recovery can be longer than vaginal birth. But it can also be a lot quicker if you have any complications like tearing, heommorage etc which I didn't realise are ridiculously common.

Your'll need to recover anyway so add a couple more weeks into it for the sake of it ruining the rest of your life!

passthemustard Thu 11-Jun-20 21:57:09

Are you going private or nhs?
In my experience the nhs don't really let you choose to have c section unless there's a very good reason for it.

KayBM Thu 11-Jun-20 22:06:22


I'm so sorry to hear everything you're going through. I hope surgery works for you...💐

I have a prolapse. Every day nearly all day long I feel uncomfortable and have ongoing pain. You can imagine how that affects a romantic relationship.

It's not what I imagined life would be like after having a baby at this age.

Did you have a big baby? Forceps?

Twigletmama Thu 11-Jun-20 22:08:30

Do you have a medical need to have a c-section?

KayBM Thu 11-Jun-20 22:13:17


If you want a c section- you can look at nice guidelines for c section requests and birth rights site for guidance. If you want a c section they can refuse but are meant to refer you to an obstetrician who will perform one. I've seen this mentioned on other mumsnet threads.

Fwiw I think in my case I would probably have been ok if the birth had gone normally and I hadn't had forceps. But women do face risks with a normal vaginal birth.

SallyWD Thu 11-Jun-20 22:27:18

My first child got stuck so I needed an episiotomy and forceps. It was only a couple of years later I realised I had a prolapse (3 to be precise: bladder, bowel and uterus). To be honest they don't really bother me or affect my quality of life but I would prefer not to have them. I've heard they can become much more problematic after menopause when oestrogen drops and the vaginal tissues and muscles become weaker. I'm 45 so not looking forward to that.

mynameiscalypso Thu 11-Jun-20 22:27:31

You don't need to have a medical need for a c section; NICE guidelines are that you can chose the way you give birth. You might have to fight for it and some hospitals are more accommodating than others but it's perfectly possible.

KayBM Thu 11-Jun-20 22:31:29


So sorry to hear that. 💐

vulvachips Thu 11-Jun-20 22:44:28

I've had a "natural" VB & elective CS. Pros & cons of both.


Very very painful as it was back to back & very quick so didn't even get gas & air. But baby turned the correct way so I only had a small tear, maybe 10 stitches. Found the contractions much worse than the crowning, its a weird experience to be in so much pain & then it just disappears, the shower after felt amazing. No pain after, no incontinence, etc.

Dc2 elective at 38.5 wks, I personally didn't like the experience but I think I'm a control freak (didn't like the epidural, catheter, etc). Found the first few days after very painful but I think it's because I was expecting zero pain (was discharged next day with paracetamol). No issue with bf & did straight after birth. Definitely best decision for baby but I don't like the small bulge over the scar, it doesn't sit the same way if that makes sense. Wasn't scared to pee or pooh at all.

If I had another I would try for VBAC

New2020 Thu 11-Jun-20 22:57:18

Following this thread for the wisdom

BeMorePacific Fri 12-Jun-20 00:34:45

@Marlena1 how did they induce you? Was in pessary, drip, Cook’s balloon? I thought they might want to avoid induction, due to the potential of uterine rupture. It’s good to know it’s possible! xx

june2007 Fri 12-Jun-20 00:43:21

2 un assisted deliveries, Both with out pain killers. First had to have d&C for after birth which was worse then the birth but really no issues. (They were both between 34-35 wks.)

Marlena1 Fri 12-Jun-20 02:21:54

@BeMorePacific it was with drip. I was constantly told (by everyone) that they wouldn't do this but they did. I had been in early labour for days and was exhausted. Section was booked for the Tuesday post bank hol but they did it on the Sunday as I was so fed up. They constantly asked about the scar throughout (if it hurt) but there were no issues that way.

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