During a pregnancy, you and your OB-GYN will talk about your ideal birth plan. In other words, do you want to deliver vaginally or via a C-section? Here is some information that can help you make the decision that’s right for you.
What is a full-term pregnancy?
A full-term pregnancy is a pregnancy that lasts between 39 weeks and 40 weeks. Babies born full-term have the best chance of being healthy, compared with babies born earlier or later. Babies are not fully developed until 39 weeks of pregnancy. Their brain, lungs, and liver are still developing.
What are the benefits of vaginal delivery?
Vaginal delivery avoids:
- Major abdominal surgery, and
- All the potential risks associated with an operation
Following a vaginal delivery mothers:
- Are more alert
- Experience less pain and fatigue, and
- Heal more quickly and spend fewer days in the hospital compared to mothers who have a C-section
Babies born vaginally typically:
- Are more alert
- Experience less respiratory problems
- Have less chance of infection
- Receive an early dose of good bacteria to boost their immune systems and protect their intestinal tracts, and
- Show more interest in breastfeeding
When is delivery by C-section medically appropriate?
The more common medical reasons when a C-section is appropriate include:
- Abnormal position of baby, or other type of distress or complications, such as with the placenta
- Baby is too large for mother’s pelvis
- Certain birth defects
- Mother is experiencing very long labor of more than 20 hours with little dilation of the cervix, or is more than 41 weeks pregnant
- Multiple births (mother pregnant with twins, triplets, etc.), and
- Previous uterine surgery, including previous C-section
What are the risks associated with delivery by C-section?
Women who deliver by C-section tend to have:
- A slower return to normal activity
- Delayed or difficulty breastfeeding
- Increased pain and fatigue
- Longer hospital stays, and
- Medical complications
And did you know that 90% of women who deliver via C-section during a first pregnancy deliver via C-section during subsequent pregnancies?
Talk to your OB-GYN about the right delivery method for you. Be informed and ask questions.
We’re also here to help. Visit Humana.com/FloridaMoms for more information about our Moms First Program and the benefits of delivering vaginally vs. by C-section.