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.
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.)….
- 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….