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

  1. #57
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    i do agree that the hardest thing about delivering a baby, whichever way you do it is the fear of the unknown. i cried all the way through my first, extremely painful c-section (epidural didn't work and i FELT it all!).... for the second one, i was "lucky" in that they put me completely to sleep, which is not best for either baby or mummy, but the only way they'd do another c-section on me.

  2. #58
    charade is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by appledai View Post
    Hi charade, Did nurse ask you for epistiomy in HK public? I heard we have no choice about drug at public. Yes, I paid deposit for private but my doctor seems only interested in c-section. If I will go natural, I will definitely go to public as save lots of money. I booked at HK adventist, no room type confirmed until delivery date, cost is out of control. I told my husband if VIP room I will leave, not sure about private room, my husband thinks too expensive, totally we should pay around $115000.
    I will ask public again about if I can ask epistiomy by myself next week. Thank you very much.
    Appledai there are two things I mentioned in my comment:
    1. Episiotomy: this is a cut on the vaginal wall to enable the baby to come out easier. You can read about it here (http://www.babycentre.co.uk/pregnanc...ur/episiotomy/). There are pros and cons... the article touches upon them. When you register at the public hospital (ie. when you are in labour and go in there to give birth) one of the forms they ask you to sign asks if you are ok with an episiotomy. I said yes. Towards the end of my labour, my energy was really flagging and they offered me an episiotomy. I said yes. They made the incision and the baby came out quite quickly then. It did not hurt when they made the incision. It hurt after when they were stitching me up but that would hurt even if you tear naturally. Being a wound it started to hurt after the routine painkiller they give which stitching you up wears off. However, this is not unbearable pain. I was given painkillers (something like panadol) but did not take it so you can imagine the pain (of the episiotomy) was not that bad. By contrast, I have not heard of anyone who did a c-section going without painkillers after. So I presume c-section scar pain is more than episiotomy pain. In my case, the stitches did not dissolve and heal for two months. Again, it was not severe pain just some discomfort. This is unusual, for the stitches to take so long. Part of the problem is the public system doesn't use the highest quality thread. However, others who have episiotomies in the public system have healed faster than me (correct me ladies if I'm wrong) so I assume my case was a one-off and normally the stitches would dissolve sooner.

    2. The other thing I mentioned, was epidural: This is a regional anaesthesia to block/reduce pain during labour. If you are terrified of pain, this is the one you could consider. I too was confused about the procedure for getting an epidural in the public system. However, I was offered an epidural at some point during my labour - quite early on. At that time, I refused but asked if I could let them know later and when... they said yes. But when I did inform them I wanted one later, they did not provide one (first started telling me disadvantages of it, which I had already seen on some material they gave me, then the very rude doctor said 'oh but you aren't in that much pain', then they said anaesthetologist wasn't available, finally 'oh now you're ready to push'). I think being a Cantonese speaker, which I think you are, would help as you could make sure there is no miscommunication. Yes, you can also ask them in your next appointment. Please note that epidural, being a drug, could also have some side effects so read up and make an informed choice.

    Finally, my labour started at 4 am and I delivered at 4 am the next morning. That is technically 24 hours. However, till 8 pm in the evening the pain was very bearable... till about 4 pm in the evening, it was like a severe period pain. So the really painful part was from say 9 pm to 4 am, which yeah is a long time but it sounds so much worse when I say 24 hours. If indeed you are in active labour for very long, they (ie. the public system) will not let you go on if your baby is in distress - the baby is constantly monitored - and they will recommend a c-section. This has happened to a friend of mine. In the public system, my sense is that if they sense your baby is even slightly in danger, they will NOT take a risk.

    Having said all this, do not get too stressed out whatever you decide. I strongly believe a natural birth - unless c-section is reccomended for special cases - is best for mom and baby but if you are geared for a c-section and it stress you out to unthink everything now, go ahead with your initial choice. A c-section will not harm severely you or your baby. I also know people who breastfed very successfully after c-section.

  3. #59
    charade is offline Registered User
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    Also wanted to add, about your concern that if there is too long between water breaking and baby's delivery... in my case, my water broke at 9 am and by 8 pm, my contractions still were not regular so they decided to induce labour. The reason they did this was because of the chances of infection setting in if too long a gap between water breaking and active labour. I had vaginal infections throughout my pregnancy and I was monitored and tested till the 37th week to make sure I was free of infection. On the other hand, my friend had a c-section (also in public) and when the baby was born they found meconium (baby poo) on the baby or in the fluids that came out. So they kept the baby under observation (baby was fine in the end). So c-section is not a guarantee that there is no risk of infection. Sorry, maybe I gave you too much to think about.

  4. #60
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    but as you have pointed out, if the doctors suspect ANY danger to the baby, they will do what is in the best interest of the baby.

  5. #61
    appledai is offline Registered User
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    Thanks Charade! Yes I also signed on Episiotomy but I want epidural. Though I can speak cantonese but I heard I cannot decide on my own. public will do according to how much painful they think you are. I am very emotional and easy to worry. I might worry for one year about BB brain problem if I deliver too long naturally. But I fear I do a wrong choice too. I will discuss with public doctor next week. my private doctor certainly wants c-section as he just do that now.

  6. #62
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    you think you worry now.... just wait until the baby comes... THAT'S when worries really start.

    i know it's difficult, but you really need to relax and know that the doctors want a safe and healthy delivery, which is what you want, too. this should be a happy and joyous time, not a time fraught with terrifying worry, which is what you sound like you are experiencing now.

  7. #63
    carang's Avatar
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    again, if the doctors think that you are labouring too long and that it will cause harm to the baby, they WON'T LET YOU CONTINUE TO LABOUR. they will take you in for an emergency c-section. so, you really are worrying needlessly.

  8. #64
    Gracey is offline Registered User
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    I would be very wary of any private doctor who ONLY does C-section. That means he / she is not making a choice based on your personal pregnancy or symptoms. It's well know that some doctors prefer C-sections because it's easier for them to schedule and they can charge more for less work-time.

    I started with a doctor like that, who was so pushy about C-sections, even in early pregnancy, that I switched doctors completely. I think some doctors like to prey on the fact that all expectant mothers are nervous -- this guy was surely full of scary stories. Now I am with another private doctor who is very open to both natural and C-section.

    If your fear is about damage to the baby, I wouldn't worry about it. HK hospitals, both public and private, are known for high quality service. Your baby will be monitored. And if natural birth goes too long, or goes badly, they will do an emergency C-section.

    If you read any neutral international medical source -- like the World Health Organization -- they will tell you that natural birth is actually safer than C-section, except in the case of emergencies.

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