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    invisible woman's Avatar
    invisible woman Posts: 7, Reputation: 2
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    #1

    Nov 12, 2008, 09:38 PM
    c-section vs. vaginal delivery
    I have researched quite a bit online and in books, but still feel undecided on how to deliver my baby. I'm curious to learn more about personal experiences and opinions.
    What are the advantages of a c-section over vaginal?
    What are the advantages of vaginal over a c-section?
    _____________________________

    I'm 28 years old and this is my first pregnancy. I'm leaning towards a c-section because surgery on my stomach seems less traumatizing and permanently damaging than a surgical procedure on my genitals. I have had 28 stitches in my back before and am not too scared of scars. I'm heavily tattooed and my entire stomach is covered, so aesthetically, I'm not too worried.

    My Dr. mentioned to me and my husband that the vagina never returns to it's initial condition after delivery. Not that it's useless, but that it's never the same and there is permanent damage/change. He said that many women go through surgery later on to "fix" their vagina. My mother told me of how she had this surgical procedure done after having her first child. My c-section will only cost $2,000 more. Seems better than paying to fix my vagina down the road. I know that recovery is slower and delays bonding with the child, but I have a very supportive husband and feel comfortable relying on him during recovery.

    Then today a woman told me how her surgical scar on her stomach never tightened up with her loss of weight and tightening of muscles. She said that the scar remains permanently numb, loose skin. She seemed like a fairly skinny woman her whole life. Seemed surprising that the scar inhibits ever having a flat stomach ever again.
    ________________________________

    Please share questions, stories, ideas...
    I'm lost.
    Wondergirl's Avatar
    Wondergirl Posts: 37,850, Reputation: 5428
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    #2

    Nov 12, 2008, 10:15 PM

    Will your doctor do a c-section just because you ask him to? I thought they were done only for medical reasons, not for "cosmetic" ones.

    I've had one of each, vaginal and c-section. Each had advantages and disadvantages. Both were medically appropriate.

    It sounds like you are carrying around a lot of old wives' tales from women whispering in your ear. For instance, I've never known a female friend or neighbor or relative (some of whom have had twins and/or a number of children) to get her vagina "fixed" later in life. By the time you are in your 50s, whether you've had children, body parts will begin to sag, not work as well, get bumps/lines/wrinkles on them.

    Please consider the delivery method that is best for your baby, and remember that vaginal delivery has immense importance to the emerging child.
    macksmom's Avatar
    macksmom Posts: 1,787, Reputation: 152
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    #3

    Nov 13, 2008, 05:42 AM

    I doubt your doctor will allow you to choose which way to birth your child... if they do, I would definite get a different doctor.

    C-sections are typically used if medically necessary. They don't just do them to allow you to not have a vaginal birth because you just don't want to.

    You have got some serious mis-information here. Your vagina isn't "permanently damaged" after having a child. My daughters father said there was no difference from before I had the baby until after... if anything, he said, he thought my vaginal muscles were stronger! Haha

    I find it hard to believe that "many women go through suregery later on to 'fix' their vagina"... that is absurd. I have known tons of people over my life that have had at least one child if not more... and not one has ever had surgery to "fix" their vagina after childbirth.
    DoulaLC's Avatar
    DoulaLC Posts: 10,488, Reputation: 1952
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    #4

    Nov 13, 2008, 08:57 AM

    Oh my... major abdominal surgery versus something your body was designed to do.

    Caesarean births are certainly necessary and lifesaving, but they are major surgery, which many people don't always realize since they are so common place. You run risks with a c-section above and beyond the risks associated with surgery... both during the procedure and with future pregnancies.

    The concerns you are talking about with "fixing" the vaginal muscles have more to do with being pregnant and getting older than necessarily with giving birth vaginally. Yes, there is an increase in the incidence of a uterine or bladder prolapse (dropping down), but it is not overly common and this can happen for older women who have never had children. The pelvic floor muscles help to support these lower organs. Kegel exercises are one very simple way to help with tighening these muscles back up after pregnancy. Would be a good idea to start doing them while pregnant to strengthen the very muscles you would use to push baby out, and they are the first exercise you can start doing right after birth. All women really would benefit from doing them. There are other means to take care of the situation, if it were to happen, before going to surgery.
    There was a push a couple of years back for elective c-sections... even had some OBs and urologists scaring women into thinking they were compromising their vaginas if they gave birth vaginally. It was short lived because it was simply a bunch of hogwash.
    You will always have exceptions, but the vast majority of women do just fine giving birth vaginally and it actually is a benefit to baby and mother both.
    C-sections should only be used when medically warranted. Advantage of a c-section, if not for obvious safety reasons... you can pick a date.
    Hazel1220's Avatar
    Hazel1220 Posts: 102, Reputation: 13
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    #5

    Nov 13, 2008, 02:10 PM

    I am sorry but I get very upset when I hear about women wanting elective c-sections. You are talking about MAJOR SURGERY. You are worried about your vagina not being the same again. Not only is that sily but IMO this is very selfish reasoning. I understand that giving birth can be a very scary idea but it is something that your body was made to do. You should trust in yourself and your body I think you would be surprised. Also giving birth is an empowering expereince one that helps you for the tough and difficult road of parenting.

    Personally I am surprised that a Doctor would tell you such horror stories of women never having their vaginas be the same. What BS. Those kinds of words are not positive or supportive at all. I would change docs if it were me. It sounds as if he/she is is the kind of doc who would " need" to preform and episiotomy (small incision made to help baby out). Studies show that they are not medically necessary and cause quite a bit of trauma to the woman.
    Some docs like to do c- sections because it saves them time and fits their schedule and they do not have to wait around for a woman to give birth. I strongly suggest educating yourself in ALL the options because vaginal birth is better for your baby. The baby needs the compression of the birth canal to push out all the fluids in the babies lungs to help with breathing.
    Some good books to read are Birthing from Within, and any book written by Ina May especially Ina May's guide to childbirth. She is a world famous midwife. You do not have to do a natural home birth by any means BUT perhaps just reading these books will help center you and release some of your fears.
    Overall the goal is to have a healthy mom and baby. I have a certain set of values which guided me in my decision while giving birth. I can't help but wonder if your decision is made because you aren't informed of all the options and pros and cons.
    Hazel1220's Avatar
    Hazel1220 Posts: 102, Reputation: 13
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    #6

    Nov 13, 2008, 02:14 PM
    Oh yeah I wanted to add that if it is medically necessary then I am all for it. Do not surround yourself with people who like to tell you scary stories. I gave birth to a 9 1/2 baby with no drugs or tears. All the docs told me I would " need" a c-section but I credit this healthy birth to reading up on options and supportive midwives and doulas. Good Luck you will be fine.
    liz28's Avatar
    liz28 Posts: 4,662, Reputation: 1034
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    #7

    Nov 13, 2008, 02:47 PM
    A c-section shouldn't be a birth plan and, as mention above, should be use in a case of emergency. Now if you have any risks then this should be discuss but for a dcotor to tell you that you should've have a c-section over nature birth is unprofessional. Did he tell you about all the risks with a c-section and the after affects?

    I had vaginal delivery with my daughter and didn't have to any kind of sugery to repair my vagina and I know many people that gave birth this way and never heard of no such thing. I even had sex after giving birth and never been told there was a difference and due to have my second baby in January.

    It is good that you research your options but even a hospital wouldn't perform a c-section unless it was necessary. Also, everyone I knew that had a c-section wouldn't have choose it and would've wanted vagina birth over a c-section anyday.
    stormey44's Avatar
    stormey44 Posts: 380, Reputation: 3
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    #8

    Nov 13, 2008, 07:03 PM

    OK I had my first baby vaginal and with my second baby they had to take c-section and the c-section they had to what you call a classical c-section now I can't have any more vaginaly which sucks I just had my third one that they made me have a c-section and the recovry was hard for me and I miss having that bond with my baby the day they are born I always wanted to have another vaginly and I can't so if I was you I would do vaginly not unless it is necessary
    ang8318's Avatar
    ang8318 Posts: 299, Reputation: 27
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    #9

    Nov 14, 2008, 10:28 AM

    I had a c-section 10 months ago. My doctor did not give me a choice in the matter. I WISH I could have had my son vaginally. A section is MAJOR SURGERY, with MAJOR RISKS. As stated above, the initial bonding when the baby comes out, does not take place when you have a c-section. In the hospital I was in, I was not allowed to attempt breastfeeding until 1 1/2 hours after delivery. I threw up for 3 days after my section from the drugs I was given, and still to this day my scar is sensitive to pressure, and numb when I just touch it. Babies are supposed to come out of your vagina, c-sections aren't the easier more cosmetic thing to do. Keep in mind too with a c-section, usually once you have one, most docs will not let you deliver vaginally for your other births.
    Cassiah's Avatar
    Cassiah Posts: 12, Reputation: 2
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    #10

    Nov 14, 2008, 01:11 PM

    I'm going to agree with everyone else here. If you can do it vaginally, then DO IT!! My first son was an emergency c-section, and because of that my second was a planned c-section. I still feel like I was "missing out" on the whole birthing experience although with my first I went through all the labor and everything. Having a baby via a c-section, just isn't the same. It's been over 2 years now, and not only is my scar still numb, that entire area is without feeling. Also, your stomach doesn't go back to the way it was. Mine is definitely looser. This is a serious decision, and unless you medically need a c-section, I wouldn't do it.
    Armygirl80's Avatar
    Armygirl80 Posts: 24, Reputation: 2
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    #11

    Nov 14, 2008, 01:30 PM

    Oh boy, I have had 4 children- each an entirely different way. My oldest was Vaginal- no drugs. My second was Vaginal with an Epideral. My third was Emergency C-section and my 4th was a planned C-section. I think the easiest one was the Vag w Epidoral. I was gagging and nauceus while I was on the operating table with the C-sections because the spinal they give you can mess with your blood level and cause nausea:(
    Good luck with your pregnancy! What a wonderful exciting new chapter in your life!

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