The risks of natural birth for mother and child

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Children are born either by natural birth or by caesarean section, both procedures having advantages and disadvantages. What are the risks of natural birth?

There are women who choose to give birth naturally, vaginally, others who, although they want to, cannot resort to this type of birth for various reasons, and others who choose a cesarean section from the start. Vaginal birth comes with a number of advantages for mother and child (shorter hospitalization, faster recovery of the mother, avoiding complications that can occur during caesarean section, starting breastfeeding faster, the child receiving some good bacteria in the time of passage through the vaginal canal, which can stimulate the immune system and decrease the risk of asthma in the child), but also with disadvantages for both.

What are the risks of natural birth?

Natural birth involves certain risks for both the mother and the child. During a natural birth, there is a risk that, when the baby comes out through the vaginal canal, the skin and tissue around the mother’s vagina will stretch and tear. If the tear is severe, the woman will need stitches. In addition, this tear can cause weakening or serious damage to the pelvic muscles, which control the process of urination and defecation. Studies on this topic have shown that women who give birth naturally have a higher risk of urinary or intestinal incontinence than those who gave birth by caesarean section, being more exposed to discharge when they cough, sneeze or laugh. Doctors say that natural birth can have bad consequences for a woman, because the scars left in the vaginal area can permanently affect her sex life.

As for the risks of natural birth for the child, they mainly depend on its size. If a woman has a long labor and the baby is very large, it could be injured during birth, being in danger of suffering fractures or having neurological problems.

How can the risks of natural birth be avoided?

First of all, it is good for a woman to take into account that natural birth is not for everyone. If the expectant mother is over 35 years old, if she suffers from preeclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy) or chronic diseases, or if the pregnancy is problematic, vaginal delivery is not recommended. Likewise, if the woman has been trying for more than 5 years to get pregnant and the pregnancy was achieved in vitro, doctors will recommend a cesarean section.

Second, if the woman knows she will have a natural birth, she can lower her risk of later incontinence by training her pelvic muscles. Practicing Kegel exercises contributes not only to an easier birth, but also to a decrease in the risk of hemorrhoids.

Read more about the risks of natural birth:

Birth at home is dangerous for both the mother and the fetus

Natural birth vs cesarean birth