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What difference does it make if I give birth via C section or vaginally?
We live in a society where it is growing more common to have your baby delivered via elective C-Section, but most health bodies, like the WHO, The American Association of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and The National Health Service in the UK recommend a vaginal birth and suggest only a rate of approximately 20% for C sections.
The following medical reasons indicate that a C section may be the best and safest way to deliver your child:
• your baby is in the breech position (feet first) and has not been able to turn
• you have a low lying placenta (placenta praevia)
• you have pregnancy-related high blood pressure (pre-eclampsia)
• you have certain infections
• your baby is not getting enough oxygen and nutrients – sometimes this may mean the baby needs to be delivered immediately
• your labour is not progressing or there's excessive vaginal bleeding
• your baby has an ongoing abnormal fetal heart rate

If none of the above apply to you then you should really be trying for a vaginal birth, because there are significant health benefits to you and your baby:
• Your baby will receive beneficial bacteria.
• You’ll squeeze fluid out of your baby’s lungs.
• You will help build your baby’s immune system.
• Your hospital stay will be shorter and your recovery time will be faster.
• You’ll avoid the risks of major surgery.
• You’ll be more likely to engage in early breastfeeding.
• You’ll be less likely to have complications in future pregnancies.
• You’ll decrease your child’s risk of childhood asthma and obesity.
• You’ll be less likely to suffer from subsequent fertility problems.
• Even if you end up having an emergency C-Section, the benefits to starting with a natural labour are similar to those of a vaginal birth.

Apart from this, there are significant disadvantages to having an elective C Section that people don’t talk about:
• Recovery time is significantly longer
• The pain during recovery makes it hard to carry your baby, more difficult to breastfeed or even just conduct daily activities
• There is a risk of scar infections and on-going problems if scars to not heal evenly
• Breastfeeding issues
• Complications in surgery
• Skin to skin may be delayed or not happen for many hours
• At the start you may be dependant on others for basic functions
• You will not be able to exercise for a lot longer


Serena Burgess
Author: Serena BurgessWebsite:
Serena Burgess is a UK qualified Doula (Red Tent Doulas), Pre-natal Yoga teacher and experienced Yoga teacher and Teacher Trainer. She comes from a line of birth workers, healers, nurses and carers, and over the years has become increasingly drawn to this work. She became a Doula because of her own positive birth experience. She knows that it is possible to achieve a birth that you remember as special, with joy or at the very least, with fondness and she passionately wants to support other women in having their best birth experience too, rather than being afraid of it. Being pregnant is a Goddess time in a woman’s life and giving birth is when we become our greatest Warrior-selves, if we are given the time, space and quiet to tap into our primal brain and birth with our instincts. Serena provides her clients the platform to do that, with information to prepare them, support to help them make their choices and by being there to rub their backs! She advocates for their decisions and additionally teaches their partners how to be the best birth support they can be. She creates a safe space for them to labour in and the ultimate endorsement of her work is if a mama says “yes I felt empowered!” regardless of the actual events of her birth. Learn more about Serena's work at
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