Forums  •  Classifieds  •  Events  •  Directory

 
Page 4 of 11 FirstFirst ... 23456 ... LastLast

Deciding between a natural birth or planned c-section: Pros & cons?

  1. #25
    TNT
    TNT is offline Banned
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    159
    NicoleJoy totally agree about the episiotomy- I had one with my first birth as it was a forceps delivery with epidural and it took quite a while to heal. Second with 2nd degree tear I didn't even feel when it happened (no drugs) and it healed really quickly. Also agree with your comments about c sections, especially as you say you can have an epidural if the pain gets too much.
    Thanka2 was waiting for your post on this as I know you have posted some great links on this recently, especially the Business of Being Born; I really hope RileyC watches it as it is so spot on.

  2. #26
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    HK
    Posts
    1,623
    Quote Originally Posted by TNT View Post
    NicoleJoy totally agree about the episiotomy- I had one with my first birth as it was a forceps delivery with epidural and it took quite a while to heal. Second with 2nd degree tear I didn't even feel when it happened (no drugs) and it healed really quickly. Also agree with your comments about c sections, especially as you say you can have an epidural if the pain gets too much.
    Thanka2 was waiting for your post on this as I know you have posted some great links on this recently, especially the Business of Being Born; I really hope RileyC watches it as it is so spot on.
    Yes, the Business of Being Born is a fantastic documentary. I watched it once by myself and once with my husband. I also have ordered all of Ina May Gaskin's books (from ShopinHK.com) and can't wait to read what she's written. So inspiring.

    Regarding episiotomies. In the 12-week birth course my husband I took the instructor gave a simple demonstration: She folded a piece of paper in half and then asked one of us to rip it along the folded line. The paper ripped quite easily. Then she gave us an unfolded piece of paper and asked us to tear it from top to bottom--of course it was possible to tear it but ti definitely didn't tear as fast as the folded piece of paper. So it is with episiotomies. If your perinium is going to tear, it's going to tear but the likelihood that it will tear further and deeper increases with the help of a scalpel to start the process. If you want to avoid perinial tears (most midwives working in home settings NEVER see perinial l tears or perform episiotomies) there are some things you can do including:

    1. Don't wear underwear. I know, I know, sounds all risque and stuff but it's not. We all have to wear panties at some point but don't wear them when you don't have to (to sleep in, around the house when you don't have guests etc.) Wearing underwear traps unnecessary moisture and can cause your skin to become brittle and somewhat chapped. There is a great example from the book "Husband-Coached Childbirth" where the doctor is the OBGYN for a woman who lives in a nudist colony and he said she had one of the healthiest perinial areas because it was constantly exposed to "the elements."

    2. Do your Kiegel exercises faithfully
    --it strengthens the pelvic floor and makes the perineum stronger and more flexible.

    3. Perform perineal massage with a natural oil (olive oil) from at least week 36 onward for at least 5 minutes every day.

    4. Use warm compresses on the perinium throughout labor as well as oil massage to prepare the area for the "big stretch" (thanks, Baby Mama).

    5. Don't lay back during labor. In other words, do not let your practitioner or anyone else force you into the Lithotomy Position and this is why. Your chance of both tearing or having an episiotomy goes up substantially in this position. Alternatively, get into the most vertical position possible (squat, kneel, stand, sit)--it opens up everything "down there" and helps to prevent tearing.
    Last edited by thanka2; 02-18-2011 at 01:35 PM.

  3. #27
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    HK
    Posts
    1,623

    If you don't want to tear....

    Quote Originally Posted by TNT View Post
    NicoleJoy totally agree about the episiotomy- I had one with my first birth as it was a forceps delivery with epidural and it took quite a while to heal. Second with 2nd degree tear I didn't even feel when it happened (no drugs) and it healed really quickly. Also agree with your comments about c sections, especially as you say you can have an epidural if the pain gets too much.
    Thanka2 was waiting for your post on this as I know you have posted some great links on this recently, especially the Business of Being Born; I really hope RileyC watches it as it is so spot on.
    Yes, the Business of Being Born is a fantastic documentary. I watched it once by myself and once with my husband. I also have ordered all of Ina May Gaskin's books (from ShopinHK.com) and can't wait to read what she's written. So inspiring.

    Regarding episiotomies. In the 12-week birth course my husband I took the instructor gave a simple demonstration: She folded a piece of paper in half and then asked one of us to rip it along the folded line. The paper ripped quite easily. Then she gave us an unfolded piece of paper and asked us to tear it from top to bottom--of course it was possible to tear it but ti definitely didn't tear as fast as the folded piece of paper. So it is with episiotomies. If your perinium is going to tear, it's going to tear but the likelihood that it will tear further and deeper increases with the help of a scalpel to start the process. If you want to avoid perinial tears (most midwives working in home settings NEVER see perinial l tears or perform episiotomies) there are some things you can do including:

    1. Don't wear underwear. I know, I know, sounds all risque and stuff but it's not. We all have to wear panties at some point but don't wear them when you don't have to (to sleep in, around the house when you don't have guests etc.) Wearing underwear traps unnecessary moisture and can cause your skin to become brittle and somewhat chapped. There is a great example from the book "Husband-Coached Childbirth" where the doctor is the OBGYN for a woman who lives in a nudist colony and he said she had one of the healthiest perinial areas because it was constantly exposed to "the elements."


    2. Do your Kiegel exercises faithfully
    --it strengthens the pelvic floor and makes the perineum stronger and more flexible.

    3. Perform perineal massage with a natural oil (olive oil) from at least week 36 onward for at least 5 minutes every day.

    4. Use warm compresses on the perinium throughout labor as well as oil massage to prepare the area for the "big stretch" (thanks, Baby Mama).

    5. Don't lay back during labor. In other words, do not let your practitioner or anyone else force you into the Lithotomy Position and this is why. Your chance of both tearing or having an episiotomy goes up substantially in this position. Alternatively, get into the most vertical position possible (squat, kneel, stand, sit)--it opens up everything "down there" and helps to prevent tearing.

    Just a bit of a quote of why this position (which is what the hospitals in HK favor) is such a BAD idea all around (however, it is convenient for your doctor because he/she can sit there comfortably and not have to be inconvenienced much)

    Roberto Caldeyro-Barcia, past president of the International Federation of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, states unequivocally, "Except for being hanged by the feet, the supine position is the worst conceivable position for labor and delivery" (1975:11). There are a number of problems generated by this position: (1) it focuses most of the woman's body weight squarely on her tailbone, forcing it forward and thereby narrowing the pelvic outlet, which both increases the length of labor and makes delivery more difficult (Balaskas and Balaskas 1983:8); (2) it compresses major blood vessels, interfering with circulation and decreasing blood pressure, which in turn lowers oxygen supply to the fetus (for example, several studies have reported that in the majority of women delivering in the lithotomy position, there was a 91% decrease in fetal transcutaneous oxygen saturation (Humphrey et al. 1973, 1974; Johnstone et al. 1987; Kurz et al. 1982); (3) contractions tend to be weaker, less frequent, and more irregular in this position, and pushing is harder to do because increased force is needed to work against gravity (Hugo 1977), making forceps extraction more likely and increasing the potential for physical injury to the baby; (4) placing the legs wide apart in stirrups can result in venous thrombosis or nerve compression from the pressure of the leg supports, while increasing both the need for episiotomy and the likelihood of tears because of excessive stretching of the perineal tissue and tension on the pelvic floor (McKay and Mahan 1984).
    Last edited by thanka2; 02-18-2011 at 01:40 PM.

  4. #28
    nicolejoy's Avatar
    nicolejoy is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    North Point
    Posts
    1,751
    Quote Originally Posted by charade View Post
    I wish I had known how to go about insisting on the epidural in the public system. it's the one thing that would make me go private. OK and also the awful doctor who said to me "please, the pain isn't even that much" when i was in the throes of labour. Luckily I didn't see her after that and the midwives did the actual delivery and were awesome.
    With my second, I just insisted. Even when they needed to do vacuum delivery, I wouldn't let them do an episiotomy. They cannot do it without your consent (unless it is a true emergency, and even then I'm not sure about what they can do legally if you have insisted on no episiotomy) - so all you need to do is to make it clear that you do not want it and their hands are tied. They cannot do it without your consent.

    With my first, I didn't really care either way - they told me it would make her come a bit quicker and at that stage, I was thinking ANYTHING to make her come quicker! (they had turned off the epidural for that stage of labour and I was having really bad back labour due to her being face up instead of face down). If I could change anything about my labour, it would be the choice to have an episiotomy.

    With my second, I bargained a lot more with the midwives. They said "We think you should do this" and I said "No, how about this instead". Knowledge is power and being the second time around, I was a lot more prepared and knew what WAS important and was NOT important to me. You are the boss, even in the public hospitals!

  5. #29
    Shenzhennifer is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Tsuen Wan
    Posts
    1,288
    Agreed, being induced makes way worse contractions. I had 3 on top of each other, for more than 5 min total. Not fun. That one, emerg c-section, couldn't hold baby for 6 hours, but no problem bonding. This one, planned c-section(in public), and bonded immediately. I was ecstatic the moment she was lifted from me, my little angel. She got to breastfeed within 45 minutes. It was love at first sight.
    Any way birth happens is painful and downright barbaric. But we recover, and are the better for it.

  6. #30
    zyxwv is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    hong kong
    Posts
    46
    Experiences vary so much, it really is difficult to effectively use other people's experience other than to vaguely inform your own decision. Over the course of your pregnancy, you will likely have a feeling of what is right for you. Just go with it.

    As for me, I had two natural deliveries (both at Matilda with same OB). For the first, I had an epidural and one top up. With the top up, my contractions slowed down so much that they actually had to give me pictosin (sp?) to kick start labor again and ensure that I didn't have an emergency c. The contractions were pretty darn painful after that and I wondered how much more painful a drug free delivery would have been. For #2, I decided to go without the epidural for as long as I could and ended up with a faster (slightly more painful, but MUCH faster, drug-free delivery). Another poster above had two top ups with no problem (same hospital as me), so you never know.

    I have friends who had planned c-sections (not for medical reasons) and don't feel like they missed out on anything. For me, having had the natural experience and later seeing their heads pushing through and their little face popping out (yes, we have video), was pretty amazing. For what it's worth, a friend who had one of each found her recovery from a c-section not to be a big deal at all.

    Another poster mentioned people exaggerating. I think that part of the issue is that until you experience it, you can't really appreciate what they are talking about. 10-20 hours of labor sounds unbearable, but it's not. The intensity of labor can be all over the map. From the first contraction until delivery, I was actually "in labor" longer with my second but the period of intense pain and pushing was much shorter. @15 hours of with the first and @20 with the second but during that period, I went out to lunch!

  7. #31
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    HK
    Posts
    1,623
    Quote Originally Posted by Shenzhennifer View Post
    Agreed, being induced makes way worse contractions. I had 3 on top of each other, for more than 5 min total. Not fun. That one, emerg c-section, couldn't hold baby for 6 hours, but no problem bonding. This one, planned c-section(in public), and bonded immediately. I was ecstatic the moment she was lifted from me, my little angel. She got to breastfeed within 45 minutes. It was love at first sight.
    Any way birth happens is painful and downright barbaric. But we recover, and are the better for it.
    This cartoon illustration from The Business of Being Born (starting at 1:18) sums up the pitocin-->epidural-->c-section cycle very well. Many a normal labor becomes an emergency c-section labor thanks to the introduction of pitocin. Plus, if you're doing pitocin, it overrides your body's natural pain killer, oxytocin which means you have to have an epidural because your body stops pumping out oxytocin to deal with the pain.

    Not that it's any surprise to SZJ but I totally cannot agree that "any way birth happens is painful and downright barbaric"--I think that's the thinking we've all be indoctrinated with and that's what we expect but there are plenty testimonies to the contrary. Besides, pain is a part of being alive--as one lady on the above mentioned documentary said, "When I gave birth, that was the day that I felt most alive."

    When I was in university I boarded with a family who did home birth (at the time they were doing their first home birth, now they have 5 children, all born at home) and I remember talking with my roommates about "Do you think we'll hear screaming and all that when she's in labor?" Come to find out, she was so relaxed in labor and her particular way of going through the pain was to internalize instead of vocalize--it wasn't that bad. It can be barbaric--but that just depends on the situation--especially the environment.

    Having said that, if you think it's going to be a nice day out walking in the park (whether you do c-section, natural birth, pain killers to the hilt or whatever) you're in for a surprise--you're going to have to go through something to come out on the other side. Anything worth having is worth going through something for.

  8. #32
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Sai Kung
    Posts
    6,259
    i took the remark regarding exaggerating rather personally. i had two terrrible pregnancies and one terrible birth... for someone to say that i was exaggerating (i realise she might not be talking about me personally) i find offensive. it diminishes what i went through, the pain i felt, and the emotions that i had to deal with.

    women should stand up for each other, not tear each other down.

    some women have uneventful pregnancies and deliveries. i think they are extremely lucky and i would NEVER imply that they are exaggerating how "good" their experiences were. but not everyone is so lucky.

    again, the intention of my post was NOT to tell a war story, it was merely to point out that c-sections are MAJOR surgery and the decision to have one should not be taken lightly.

Page 4 of 11 FirstFirst ... 23456 ... LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Pros and cons of DB?
    By starbucks2 in forum Moving Forums
    Replies: 28
    Last Post: 11-20-2009, 02:38 PM
  2. natural birth or c-section?
    By coco choco in forum Pregnant with Multiples
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 04-04-2009, 05:06 PM
  3. Change from natural birth to c-section
    By donkey in forum Hong Kong Pregnancy Forum
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 02-05-2008, 01:23 PM
  4. re: Figure after natural birth vs. C-section
    By louisouis in forum Hong Kong Pregnancy Forum
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 09-19-2007, 12:48 PM
  5. C-Section and natural birth thereafter?
    By Rosewood in forum Hong Kong Pregnancy Forum
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 11-11-2004, 05:12 PM

Tags for this Thread

Scroll to top