Pregnancy is the most beautiful phase of a woman’s life. All through the nine months, a woman experiences multiple changes happening within her body. As much as she enjoys those kicks in her growing belly, she also stays apprehensive about her labour and delivery.
There is a growing concern about normal delivery these days. It is considered as an act of ‘bravery’ which not all women can achieve. Most doctors increasingly suggest a cesarean over normal delivery assuming that the women today would not want to go through the labour pain. Many women too personally opt for a planned cesarean thinking that it’s an ‘easy way out’.
Let me tell you, no delivery is easy or tough! Each has its own pros and cons. Birthing is the most natural process and delivering through the natural way should always be the preferred choice.
“The cesarean rate for first-time mothers with a single foetus, in the normal head-down position who have crossed 37 weeks should be less than 25%” says Dr. Swati Sinha, consultant obstetrician-gynecologist at Sitaram Bhartia Institute of Science and Research.
One of the reasons for the rise in cesarean deliveries in the country is the number of myths that surround a normal delivery. There are tonnes of old wives’ tales and misconceptions built around the natural birthing process. Let me present to you some common myths versus facts-
# Myth 1- A Vaginal Birth is unbearably painful, C-section is less painful
Fact– The experience of labour pain is certainly intense, but it’s not intolerable. Labour is not a singular event. It occurs in stages and the intensity of the pain increases gradually. With the right support team and proper medical guidance, it can be made a fulfilling birth experience. While the pain in normal delivery is experienced during the process, in cesarean its the aftermath in the form of stitches. C-section is a major abdominal surgery that comes with a long list of risks including bleeding, infections in the stitches, reaction to anesthesia, etc. Its healing and recovery process takes a longer time. A normal delivery is relatively a ‘less risky’ approach.
#Myth 2- Normal Delivery is not safe for babies
Fact– Normal Delivery is healthier for the baby. The child when passing through the birth canal receives certain bacteria that play a great role in building his immune system. During the process of delivery, he expells amniotic fluid from his lungs that helps him to breathe air better once out in the world thereby causing fewer respiratory problems in the initial days.
#Myth 3 – Use of Forceps & Vacuums can be dangerous
Facts– Not all normal deliveries require the use of forceps or vacuum. These are needed only in rare situations. Under the expertise of a skilled doctor, these methods are safe for both the mom and the baby.
#Myth 4– A Cesarean is a must if the labour pain doesn’t start naturally
Fact– Many a times labour pain doesn’t start naturally even on reaching the due date. In such cases the labour is medically induced. Inductions usually lead to a successful normal delivery and a cesarean alternative is not required in most cases.
#Myth 5– Women who are overweight or older in age or short in height, cannot have a normal delivery
Fact– A woman’s body is designed to give birth. Those who are short in height usually have a small baby who can easily pass through the pelvis. All healthy women with uncomplicated pregnancy stand a chance for a normal delivery. With proper labor exercise, knowledge of breathing techniques, etc, normal delivery is achievable.
Hear the birth experience of Suveksha Lama, who, in spite of being a 37 years old overweight lady, could manage to have a successful normal delivery with the support of her family and doctors.
[The video has been taken from Sitaram Bhartia’s blog/youtube channel]
‘Birth is a normal physiological event in a woman’s life and requires minimal intervention’. All hospitals should follow this philosophy. One of the hospitals that does believe in this is- Sitaram Bhartia. This 70-bed, multi-specialty hospital in New Delhi has accomplished an 88% normal delivery rate for the low-risk-first-birth women. Their maternity program is designed to empower women and their families into making the healthiest and safest choices for pregnancy and delivery. This has helped them to achieve one of the lowest cesarean rates (12% for first-birth low-risk mothers) among Delhi’s private hospitals.
If you are expecting and have believed in such myths related to normal delivery, I hope this post has empowered you enough to be confident about the natural birthing process.
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