C section or Vaginal birth : Guys! I need some advice... - NCT


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C section or Vaginal birth

THJHHRH profile image

Guys! I need some advice please 🙏🏼 I’m 36 weeks pregnant. I have a scan next week (37 weeks) Everything going ok! I have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes and readings are fine too. I had a c section first time around it’s my choice whether I want to opt for it again! There’s pros and cons with both ways of delivery. I guess my question is what would you guys go for? Having experienced a c section and how quick it was done I’m kind of pushing towards that way but it’s a longer recovery as oppose to vaginal birth apparently. On the other hand I don’t think I could do the whole labour process because of the pain and not knowing how long I'm going be in labour for. Either way I’m gna be getting induced a week before my due date (28th March) Help xx

44 Replies


I would strongly advise a c- section! I am regretting every moment the day when I decided to have vaginal birth.. it lasted almost 72hours, for the first 10 hours after my water broke I was not able to get epidural( anesthesiologist was in the operating room all night and I think many anesthesiologists are in the covid ICUs), so it was horrible...I was having the horrendous contractions for 10 hours ( having some opioids to reduce the pain), so I developed severe preeclampsia... So I would strongly advise a scheduled c section, if possible ( I live in the US so we have that option)... Good luck!!🍀

THJHHRH profile image
THJHHRH in reply to dexy1389

Aaah thank you!! I’m pushing that way! X

My consultant said I have the option but what made my mind up was when he said the one thing you want to avoid is an emergency c-section. He said I could go ahead and try vaginally and it may be absolutely fine, but they'd already recommended I don't go to term and am induced, and I felt if it was looking like I might need one it's better weighing up all the risks - for me and baby - to elect and plan, than for it than be an emergency. He said with planned sections they could make sure the baby was the right size, ready, that they knew where the placenta was - all things they have less choice over if an emergency but then so many women have unplanned sections and are also absolutely fine. I've had friends have very long recoveries and complications from vaginal (also some who's births have been super quick and they've have been fine within hours! including ones with gestational diabetes) so it can be a long recovery either way. But then I really don't have strong feelings about a vaginal birth, whereas for a lot of women it's a massive thing. I may regret my choice but not knowing any different right now I'm just going with what feels right for me. Other people's actual experiences are really helpful and be guided by your doctors, just don't worry about any non-medical 'in principle' opinions - I've been given a lot of those :)

Thank you! I just feel like because my first and only at the moment was a emergency c section because she was so small, I could give vaginal birth a try BUT I have a feeling and don’t want this one being a emergency whereas if I knew it was planned, it won’t be so bad. X

You wouldn’t want an emergency one as you could get anyone - at least if it’s planned, the team are prepared and ready and you are also properly pre-op’d

I have been considering this conundrum as well… c-section or vaginal birth. C-section just sounds so much safer for mom and baby… especially once you can avoid an emergency situation, but the recovery time is so much longer. Agree with Mrs Orangejuice.. do what feels right for you and don’t be swayed by others. I must admit I haven’t settled on a decision myself but I still have a bit of time.Good luck .. almost time to meet your beautiful baba😊💕

Thank you for replying x From what I can remember I don’t think the recovery was as bad as they said it would be on a section x I was on my feet more or less soon after, the only thinga I didn’t do was drive for a bit, heavy house chores eg hoovering. I think I’m swaying towards a section x thank you. Xx

How old is your first? Will you have plenty of help with them? If you've got support around you then a planned c section can be really positive. Mine was not really planned, but not an emergency situation. Failed induction and I opted not to keep trying and c section was scheduled for the next day. My top tip - ask the staff to keep talk to a minimum during the delivery. While my longed-for IVF baby was coming into the world the Drs were discussing where to have lunch 🤣🤣🤣Good luck xxx

THJHHRH profile image
THJHHRH in reply to MissSaoPaulo

Thank you!! My daughter will be 5 in May so she’s at a age where she can do things for herself and helps me too! X I have plenty of help around, she’ll still be at school as Easter holidays aren’t till April so won’t be out of routine x I think I can remember with mine too when I was having a section they were talking about all sorts 😂 X

I had a scheduled c section and it was the most positive birth experience I could have hoped for. I think it depends what you’re after - the most important thing for me was that everything was calm and in control. My boy was measuring big all the way through and I just had a feeling we’d end in an emergency section. I had a lot of anxiety about the whole thing so really wanted to avoid last minute changes of plan! Recovery was really smooth for me. We’re currently hoping for number 2 and I wouldn’t have any doubts about having another. Having said all that, a vaginal birth held zero temptation to me so I know it’s a lot of personal preference! Ultimately just go with your heart xx

THJHHRH profile image
THJHHRH in reply to Solly-44

Thank you so much xxx You guys have all re assured me, think my heart and gut is telling me section x x

I had an amazing induction with my second, went on the drip at midnight and hag baby in arms by 5am, no drugs except some gas and air, and some pethidine towered the end. No tears, small graze but hardly any bleeding or pain. Was up walking round and in the shower a couple hours after and walking the dog on day 3.

Really positive experience and recovery, so not all vaginal births are bad experiences

I really found hypnobirthing really helped me, not really with the actually Acton of giving birth, but the mindset and confidence in knowing what I wanted and being confident in my decisions.

So even if you choose the c section, hypnobirthing can really help with your choices and the confidence to push for what you want.

Sparkes84 profile image
Sparkes84 in reply to Seb9

I have heard great things about hypnobirthing. Can you recommend any courses/material? Dont know where to start with it!

Seb9 profile image
Seb9 in reply to Sparkes84

Hey I downloaded your baby your birth audio book by Hollie De Cruz as I wasn't able to go to any classes. I found the stories very helpful and at the end is a relaxation session and affirmations.

I think there are definitely two clear camps. Those who absolutely love and vouch for a c section and at the other side of the spectrum those who would never have one.

I would never opt for one and that's my choice. Noone should feel bad about which camp they sit in.

I gave birth on the 2nd March after 2 days of labour. Very painful, very stressful. Lots of bleeding and 2 tears. I had the induction drip to get things going. The only thing I'm glad about is that I didn't have a caesarean. For me that would have made the whole experience worse. For others, they may have welcomed one.

Do you, and feel confident and empowered in your choice. Good luck with it all.

I want to add that not all vaginal births are terrible. I've never had a c section but the 2 times I've given birth I didn't find it painful. It was hard work but not painful. I did hypnobirthing and that really helped but also recovery was so easy for both. Out walking with the pram day after giving birth, didn't need any pain killers after or anything. Just felt like I had done some intense exercise, muscles ached that sort of thing.

I think you should do what you feel comfortable with, I just wanted you to know that the painful terrifying labour that people talk about isnt the only way labour is.

Hi Claire, can you point me towards any hynonirthing techniques? Thanks!

I did a course through calma birthing and read Marie Mongan hypnobirthing book

I had a planned c-section last Saturday to bring my twins into the world and it was the most beautiful experience and so emotional. I had my chosen playlist calmly playing in the background, my husband stroking and kissing my head, an amazing team of consultants, doctors, anaesthetist and midwives around us. I would do it all over again. Best of luck to you xx

I’m in the same position- first born by c section after undiagnosed breech in labour. I have opted for a v bac this time- I want to at least try and experience a vaginal birth and not have to worry about the recovery of a section. I’m due on the 8th but have a planned induction booked on the 19th so we shall see what happens!x

I had vaginal birth and recovery was much quicker than I expected Labour was about 40 hours but when it got to the hard part I got an epidural and would highly reccomemd if you do decide on vaginal 😊 I was booked for induction too but waters broke that day so didn’t need the balloon only the drip, either way exciting times you are nearly there!! xx

I would personally have c section! I’ve had 3. Recently I wanted a VBA2C but it was strongly advised not too! I was so glad I didn’t. During my section last year I was told my uterus was thin. If I’d of had natural delivery it may have ruptured. Electives are so calm. I’ve had electives turn to emergency and natural still end in emergency surgery. Trust your OB team, trust your body. If things go wrong in surgery they are in a controlled environment. Your safety and babies safety is number 1. Good luck xx

I would never opt for a c-section, and would do everything I could to avoid one. The recovery time is much longer and its a very invasive procedure. I like the idea of pushing this baby, that I've worked so hard to grow, out of my body in the way nature intended. I want the hard work and then the reward, and I don't want a clinical environment of a theatre to be the first thing my baby sees. Labour pain felt like a right of passage to me, I wanted to experience it and honestly felt like a warrior woman afterwards. I don't want to be numb and not able to walk around after baby is born, I don't want to not be able to drive for 6 weeks or struggle to get out of bed, or have major surgery if its not necessary. Of course, I'd have an emergency section if necessary, but I don't think that happens as often as you think. That's what I would do :-)

Hi, Sometimes a C Section is suggested again if you have had one.My personal view of my sisters birth. The second baby is usually larger and you are 36yrs. What you don't want is a birth that starts a normal Vagina birth then you don't open wide enough as it may not end up as C Section because of the baby distress then a difficult birth.

My best wishes.


My advice will be to follow your instincts. I think both options have pros and cons. I would personally opt for a vaginal birth especially if it was recommended by the doctors if there are no complications and it is a straightforward pregnancy.

I had fibroids and despite this, doctors recommended a vaginal birth, which I was okay with. Then I found out she was back to back and on the large side so I started doubting if having a vaginal birth was wise. The final thing that made me opt for a c section was when I found out she was breech and was not going to turn on her own. I was so keen to avoid having last minute medical interventions like forceps, suction cups and an emergency section. I don’t regret my decision as I found the experience mostly positive. I was mostly pain free by week 2 and now that it is 5 weeks, I feel well enough to exercise but I am waiting for the all clear to start exercising.

Some people might want to have a vaginal birth at all cost but in some scenarios like mine, a c section is the safest route for the baby while a vaginal birth is the safest route for the mother. I would always prioritise my child’s needs over mine.

I hope your birth goes smoothly.

Hello, I had 2 normal births and 3 c-sections. My first child I laboured for 18 hours, when the pain got too much I had an epidural, he was born after pushing for 2 hours and me having an episiotomy, it took around 6 to 8 weeks for me to heal from it. My second child I was induced, I laboured for 7 hours and had only gas for pain relief, she tore me badly and it took months for it to heal. My third child I had c-section after failure to start labour, they literally tried everything they could but I just didn't go into labour, I recovered from the c-section quickly, I went and registered his birth when he was 9 days old. My forth child was a planned c-section everything went smoothly but I took months to heal and feel well again but that was because I had many health issues during that pregnancy, my fifth child was born December just gone and he was my third c-section I recovered very quickly and was out shopping within a week of him being born. Every birth is different, every labour and c-section is different. You choose what feels right for you

I had a vaginal birth, a c section or other interventions were never on my agenda. I absolutely did not want forceps or ventuse.

I wanted a vaginal birth from the outset and asked source (the universe) for an easy, quick and painless birth possible and that both baby and I were healthy and well as a result.

I did reiki on myself every day and asked for this each time as I set my intention and did my healing.

I had a relatively easy and quick labour and birth process, my waters broke around 10pm, in hospital by 3am, felt his head around 8am and instinctively started to push, I had no choice, I had to!! I had 2 paracetamol and gas and air.

I'd had enough of the hard work pushing and him going up a little after I'd worked hard for him to come down more, it was this really hard pushing that tore me, plus he had his hand next to his head like a pillow when he came out, he arrived at 10:09am, so all in it was only a 12 hour process. Id had no sleep the night before the night my waters broke so I'd had 48 hours with no sleep and we moved into our new house the night my waters broke so I was knackered before labour started!

I remember being wheeled into the delivery room and feeling very much that my life and baby's life and how it all was to go was in the hands of the universe.

I had placed my faith in the fact that we were going to be looked after but did feel vulnerable.

I feel that I had a really good birth, I've spoken with friends and others who tell a very different story! If you tear, make sure they don't stitch up your bartholin's glands! It didn't happen to me but it does happen!!

In hindsight, I wouldn't do anything any differently other than maybe persevering with the pushing as I might not have torn had I put up with it a bit more.

I wanted a vaginal birth as baby benefits from the beneficial bacteria via the passage through the birth canal.

Whatever you choose, good luck! Xx

I'd advice to follow your instincts. Many women have a good straightforward vaginal delivery (including me), but just being in hospital for it means you're statistically more likely to need some intervention, so C-section gives you a lot of control over what happens. I had a good experience of labour, baby born within 6 hours since my waters broke. I used hypnobirthing and gas & air, had a small tear, but it healed very quickly. A week later I couldn't believe I went through labour.

One thing that would be difficult if I had a C-section in my hospital is the fact that my hospital only allowed visitors (so partners) to come for 2 hours a day (it's wrong but there you go). I can't imagine what I'd have done if I was recovering from and operation and taking care of a newborn.

Good luck! I hope everything goes well.

I have a 3 month old daughter born by ELCS, it was such an amazingly positive experience. I was so so anxious beforehand and as recommended by a friend who had a c section 4 months before me was to ask the anesthetist for something to help relax you and I did. He gave it not long before the surgery so the baby wouldn't have been affected but I was so chilled out, laughing at their jokes and so and calm.

We were out the next day, as was my request and 4 days later I was out walking the dog (well I was pushing the pram, husband walked the dog). I'd have a c section again in a heartbeat, I think ELCS is probably easier recovery anyway, by day 6 it was like I hadn't even had surgery.

Even my sisters 'easy' vaginal birth was a longer recovery from my c section as she had a grade 3 tear, I think around 80% of women tear so you'd likely be dealing with some kind of recovery anyway.

Congratulations on your baby! And good luck with whatever you decide x

THJHHRH profile image
THJHHRH in reply to Liberty82

That’s very kind of you thank you and congrats to you too!! I have my 37 week scan tomorrow and have to make a decision and c section I think for me personally would be better than vaginal birth. Pros and cons with both, what I don’t want to happen is opt for natural birth and for some reason it’s going to end up in a c section. X

I’ve had 2 children through c section. First one was an emergency, after 3 attempts of being induced, labour for 16 hours and then a c section where I went into septic shock and didn’t meet my first born for the first 12 hours of his life and even then I was in and out of consciousness. Horrendous experience. Fast forward 7 years I was going to give birth to my second. Consultant advised to go with the c section. She advised my pelvic was small and most likely will have to have an emergency section even if I go ahead with vaginal birth. Went with the opt c section. Best decision I made. She was out within 12 minutes. I was able to enjoy the moment and I was stitched up my 22 mins. Yes the recovery was longer but I didn’t want miss witnessing her being born. 8 years on Im pregnant with my third and I will be opting for a c section again.

I haven’t had a c section so I can’t really comment from experience but I’ve got friends and my sister had both and they said they’d chose vaginal over c section any day, mainly because of the recovery.I had vaginal with my first and I had a great experience. I thought I wouldn’t be able to handle the pain but I did it start to finish with no pain relief. During the contractions I used a TENS machine which was a great help. But I was really lucky that my labour was quick (12 hours in total). Recovery was okay, I had a few stitches and I was sore. But I was up and about after a few days.

It’s a difficult one really as everyone’s experience is different. I think c sections are great as they’re so quick but it’s the recovery that scares me. Also if you’ve got a little one to look after already then that’s another thing to think about. You’ll probably need the help around if you have a section.

I’m due in 2 weeks and I’m hoping for the same experience I had with my first.

I was told if you’ve previously had a C Section any subsequent children would need to be born by C Section- so I’m a little confused if you’ve been given a choice

THJHHRH profile image
THJHHRH in reply to Running79

I only have the one, they give you a choice up until your second and if you decide to have anymore after then they’ll have to be sections.

Running79 profile image
Running79 in reply to THJHHRH

Interesting a girl I know only has the one child, been told she will have to have further C Sections - That’s medical professionals for you 🤷‍♀️

THJHHRH profile image
THJHHRH in reply to Running79

That’s bizarre - could be because of medical reasons? Not sure x I feel they do a little push you to have a vaginal birth after section but it’s down to the individual x

Running79 profile image
Running79 in reply to THJHHRH

They push you to have a vaginal birth as it’s cheaper. A C Section costs in the region on £10,000 per person.

I said at my first midwife appointment that I wanted one. She said you won’t get one unless it’s due to a medical reason nearer the time. Thankfully my daughter was breech, so I was offered manual turning or C Section. Manual turning carries a 1% risk of baby distress and emergency C section so I opted for the planned C Section.

You are correct it should be our choice, unfortunately it isn’t in some if not all cases

I was worried about not being 'allowed' a section without medical reasons but luckily my hospital and midwife team have the view that it's entirely the woman's choice - they go through all the options, risks and benefits and support you whatever. I've ended up with medical reasons but still have the choice to try vaginal if I want. I've heard this is not the case at a lot of places though. However, they've just changed the national guidance to say it should be a choice and in particular they've removed vaginal vs section targets as they found these were having pretty tragic consequences at some trusts. So maybe as that new guidance is implemented, it will mean that women don't feel pressured either way. My experience has been great but it should be like that everywhere and not just luck.

The only thing is, it’s ‘Guidance’ so they don’t have to follow it. Some trusts are trying to save money left right and centre. I was in hospital for 4 days after my section due to post partum preeclampsia- so my stay was in the region of £20,000

So unfortunately financial over what the patient wants in some places will always win

I had a planned C Section at 39+4 weeks.

I had a very good team.

I have to say even though it was planned it was incredibly traumatic- my daughter had the cord wrapped twice round her neck and swallowed faeces on the way out, so they had to call the paediatric crash team in, myself and my husband had no idea what was going on. Until afterwards - thankfully she was okay.

I lost a litre of blood on the table. Because of having to have two spinal blocks put in, as the first one didn’t work on me, which is very rare, I couldn’t hold my daughter as my arms were so weak due to the anaesthetic.

So I would say neither way is fail safe, whilst the majority of ladies on this post had a positive experience- mine was not so positive, and even if I could have more children, this put me off having any more.

The only positive side to it, I recovered really quickly, was out walking a few miles within a couple of days of coming out of hospital, driving again 10 days post op and the main advantage no leaky bladder - so it is what you make of it.

Gestational diabetes is not a reason to have a C Section, but you will be tested every year for life now you have it. I had that and post partum preeclampsia

Good luck with your decision

Thanks everyone! I’ve opted for a section which is booked in for the 25th of this month ❤️ Both deliveries have their pros and cons and I guess the bottom line is what you’re comfortable with. I, personally want everything planned time date, not knowing when labour is going to start, how long for is not for me and what made my mind up is because my first was a section - I don’t grow big babies and if I started with Vbac and they had to stop for some reason and I had to have a section, I wouldn’t want that either. X Thank you all for your advice I really appreciate it ❤️

Best of luck and wishing a healthy, happy baby and mama x

How did it go mama? Hope all went well :)

THJHHRH profile image
THJHHRH in reply to Laurenloufre

Perfect! Had a section and was in and out within 45 mins x Recovery touch wood is quick and happy! Beautiful baby boy weighing 5 pounds 9! X Definitely made the right decision. Thanks for asking.

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