Before I ever even planned to have a family, I had always been terrified of vaginal childbirth. While I know it’s “the natural” way, and has been done since the beginning of time, the thought scared the bejesus out of me. But the more I learned, the more I realized that vaginal birth is really the way to go – especially when there are no medical reasons to not have one. Then when I was pregnant with the twins, I got myself used to the very real idea that I would maybe have a c-section, since c-sections are more common with multiples.
After my water broke and I lost my twins at 17 weeks pregnant, things I had been concerned about seemed less important – like how to give birth. Whether my twins had come into this world via a vaginal birth or by way of a c-section – or even a combination of both – at least they would have made it into this world, because this alternative was the worst.
When it comes down to it, what really matters is that your children end up alive, healthy, and well. And while I hope to have a vaginal birth in the future, you can bet your tuchus that I will do whatever is necessary to ensure my baby makes it safely into this world – and if that means having a c-section, so be it.
But the experts all say the same thing, as did one such expert in a reason article on HuffPost Healthy Living: In a healthy pregnancy, there’s no reason to schedule a c-section. And I happen to agree.
Alan E. Guttmacher, a pediatrician and Director of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, says that “the outcomes for mom and baby are best when delivery occurs after 39 weeks… Yet some families still request delivery, or their doctors may even suggest it for scheduling purposes, before 39 weeks. In these instances, labor is initiated even though the pregnancy could progress further with less risk to the mom and the baby.”
So why exactly is it best to wait?
Guttmacher goes on to tell us:
- Much of a baby’s development happens in the final weeks. At 35 weeks, a baby’s brain weighs only two-thirds of what it will weigh at 39 to 40 weeks.
- Later deliveries bring fewer health risks for babies. Babies delivered at 39 weeks or later have fewer health risks than babies delivered earlier.
- Later deliveries mean fewer complications for moms, too. Elective early delivery increases the risk of cesarean delivery. And C-sections, while common, carry risks for the mother, such as wound infection and anemia, and require longer recovery time.
Want to know more? Be sure to check out the full article on HuffPost Healthy Living. And watch the video below!
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