Dr. Pavitra, a Lamaze expert, talks about Cesarean vs Normal delivery

April is Cesarean awareness month. Many of the individuals these days prefer to have a cesarean for numerous reasons. One of them being almost no labor pains. However in 2009 WHO has come out with recommendations for natural delivery which specifies that the percentage of cesarians in the world should not exceed 15% of all births. So even though there is a need for Cesarean, the limit they committed is 15%.

In India, especially in Hyderabad, the percentage of deliveries with Cesarean is more. This is because of

  • lack of awareness.
  • fear of labor pains.

So most of the people think the labor pains are triggered with natural deliveries and are more intolerable and for those reasons patients normally go for Cesarean. But deciding on Cesarean is not an option that the patients can decide by themselves, only to get free off labor pains but the recovery period for Cesarean surgery is more. It may take from a week to 6 weeks which is difficult for the new mom along with new-born baby, which can in turn leads to additional complications.

As a Doctor I have observed more cesarean cases these days. Pregnant women are choosing Cesarean surgery without the Doctors recommendations. The most significant advantage with the normal delivery is breast-feeding. The moment the baby passes the birth canal it is not just the mother but also baby is exposed to the hormones, so it is a stressful phase for both. Birth is an interplay where you have stress hormones and hormones which completely relax, and mother, naturally, knows just how to survive the pains. Generally pains arise when the baby gets stuck during the course of coming out of birth channel in which complication if mother moves and changes her position then baby progresses out easily. Here pain is a beautiful indicator all through this process. So thus baby has to pass right through the passage so that it is exposed to all the hormones so that baby can be imposed to potential stresses in future and mother baby bonding will likely be strong.

The most significant difference between a Cesarean and a normal baby is respiratory distress. Pregnancy period is around 40-42 weeks because lung maturity of a baby happens only in the last few weeks. After lungs get fully grown and the baby is ready to come out of tummy, baby on its own will send out a sign to mother he is ready to come out of her womb. So mothers should not necessarily only depend on the intended due date for the delivery of a baby. Due to the hormonal interplay perhaps even through baby there may be some hormones pass on to mother. So as soon as mother spotted her baby she has a flood of oxytocin and so milk reflection where as in Cesarean due to the influence of anaesthesia to the mother it requires at least 5 to 6 hours time to get better from her unconsciousness in between which baby has been fed with outside milk and even also there takes place latching issue.

Latch is most important moment during a breast feed. If this is established in the first hour after a baby is brought forth, then it is a huge advantage for the little one which is definitely missing in Cesarean.