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The Benefits to Be Gained from Vaginal Delivery

Expecting mothers have two different delivery options to choose from when they are ready to give birth, that being vaginal delivery and Cesarean section, also known as a C-section. Vaginal delivery is considered the way nature intended it to be, and is indeed an option that has its distinct benefits. This blog will briefly discuss the benefits of vaginal delivery and explore the advantages to be gained, by both mother and baby.

Many private hospitals in Thailand typically have a Cesarean section to vaginal delivery ratio of, on average, 7 to 3; meaning that 70 percent of deliveries are through C-section. And there are various reasons why this has become the case. However, many doctors aren’t quite certain that this trend is moving in the right direction.

Bumrungrad International understands that each pregnancy is unique and wants every expecting mother to make the choice that’s right for her, no matter what cultural trends may lean toward. At Bumrungrad, before an expecting mother decides on a delivery method, the doctor will work together with her to choose the method most suitable.

The Benefits of a Vaginal Delivery for the Mother

Expecting mothers have benefits to be gained from vaginal delivery that are not available through C-section. To begin with, vaginal delivery results in less postpartum pain and may also allow for only a short stay at the hospital. Usually, within 1-2 days, the new mother is able to go home with her newborn baby.

When there are no complications involved, a woman’s body is naturally equipped to handle vaginal delivery. The reason for this is that during a vaginal delivery, the oxytocin hormone signals that it’s time for the uterus to start contracting, during which endorphins are produced to help reduce pain.

Vaginal delivery also allows for the immediate ability to breastfeed while not having to deal with the possible side effects that may come along with a C-section. Vaginal delivery will let the mother be fully alert and able to immediately feed her baby, and this allows for a great bonding opportunity for mother and child in the first moments of life.

But What About the Benefits for the Baby?

A major benefit when it comes to vaginal birth is that the child is exposed to what is known as “beneficial bacteria” in their mother’s birth canal. As the baby moves through the birth canal, fluid passes through the baby’s nose and mouth, making its way into the digestive system. This fluid contains the beneficial bacteria which is known to contribute to building up the baby’s immune system — while fighting off harmful bacteria from trying to enter the baby’s digestive system at the same time. This beneficial bacteria also plays a role in coating the baby’s skin, which does its part to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria externally.

Vaginally born babies may also have a decreased risk of conditions such as asthma and food allergies. They may have a lower risk of becoming lactose intolerant as they get older too. Research has shown that babies who are born through C-section are more likely to be hospitalized for conditions such as asthma and immune system disorders.

Lastly, babies born through vaginal delivery are less likely to suffer from certain respiratory problems such as TTN, transient tachypnea of the newborn, a condition in which fluid gets trapped in the newborn’s lungs; with vaginal delivery, as the baby passes through the vaginal canal, excess fluid is squeezed out from the baby’s lungs.

More Than One Vaginal Delivery Option

Vaginal delivery can be broken down even further into subtypes. They include vaginal delivery with epidural block, vaginal birth after Cesarean (VBAC), vacuum extraction, forceps delivery, and natural delivery. All of these methods are considered vaginal delivery methods, but with a few differences among them. Under certain circumstances, depending on the specific pregnancy case, one of these specific options may be required; however, each offers the same benefits for both mother and baby as a normal vaginal delivery.

To Conclude

Although it may be physically demanding on the mother, opting for this route cuts out the risks associated with undergoing a Cesarean section. Additionally, delivering a baby vaginally can give a new mother a sense of achievement — knowing that bringing her newborn into the world was of her own will and effort.

Dr. Nopadol Saropala is an Obstetrician and Gynecologist at the Women’s Center, Bumrungrad International Hospital.

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