Posted in Family, Kids, Life

Birth plan: Vaginal delivery vs. Elective C-section

Today, I’m the OB anesthesiologist on call.  Hours in the L&D OR have provided me with a “real” understanding of what is involved in a C-section (C/S).  I’ve seen countless spontaneous vaginal deliveries (SVD) including natural birth (without pain medications), deliveries with epidurals, vacuum-assisted deliveries, shoulder dystocias, postpartum hemorrhages, etc.  A lot can happen to both the mom and the baby — and it can be scary.  Someday, I’d like to have my own family, and it got me thinking about what I would like to choose for my “birth plan”.  As much emphasis is placed on this…it’s really out of your control. The idea seems nice in that you feel like you have control, but nature has a very interesting way of doing what it will do irrespective of your plans.

My Reddit comment

One of our OBs had her two children via elective C/S. Given that a C/S is major surgery, I often wondered why one would electively choose to go that route vs. vaginal delivery.  I opted to take a poll on the OB floor (nurses, docs, midwives, staff, etc.)….

The results:

  • CS decreases urinary incontinence/vaginal prolapse
  • CS offers a time/schedule/control
  • SVD seems to offer shorter hospital stay and improved breathing in the neonate
  • Personal preference

But a little research….

ACOG Committee Opinion: Cesarean Delivery by Maternal Request

I loved my elective C-section

Pros and Cons of elective c-section

Vaginal Birth vs. C-section

A gal’s account of her elective c-section

CMAJ: Planned elective c-section — a reasonable choice for some women?

Clinical Perinatology: CS vs Vaginal Delivery: Long term infant outcomes

The Guardian: Vaginal birth vs. C-Section

A Canadian gal’s account of her elective c-section

My other OB blog posts:

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Author:

Grew up in a small Texas town. Heavily involved in extracurricular activities: piano, violin, dance (ballet/jazz/tap), tennis, horseback riding (english/western), taekwondo, basketball, soccer, volleyball, percussion, drumline, orchestra, band, mascot, pageants. I had the typical Tiger Mom upbringing. Went to college, medical school, residency, and fellowship. Amidst the ups and downs of life, allow me to share with you my journey...as an "ordinary" person who happens to be an MD.

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