R.S. asks from Boulder, CO on May 21, 2009
C-section or Vaginal Birth--which Would You Choose (Having Had Both)
Hi, I had a really hard time recovering from my first 2 vaginal births. Those of you who have done both, what do you prefer as far as recovery time?
And those of you who have had c-sections have you had a hard time getting your regular belly back?
S.R. answers from Denver on May 23, 2009
I just had a C-section. I took me about 3 times as long to recover and I hate the scar. The vaginal was much easier for me.
T.M. answers from Denver on May 23, 2009
I think it may depend on the individual but I can tell you that I had 2 vaginal births followed by a c-section. I would choose the c-section again if given my choice. I recovered much faster and didn't have nearly as many issues with it.
K.W. answers from Boise on May 22, 2009
Go vaginal! I've had both (c-sect, VBAC, c-sect). Both c-sects had longer recoveries and more pain. I needed more help at home (which I didn't get) and still have some numbness and itching two years after my last birth. I love all my babies the same, but given the choice, I'd totally go vaginal again! PS...both c-sects were unplanned emergencies.
J.N. answers from Denver on May 22, 2009
I had a c-section with my son and then a VBAC with my daughter. The vaginal birth and recovery was challenging but I much preferred it to the c-section. With the c-section I was hunched over for days with a lot of pain. You can't lift anything more than 10 lbs for 6 weeks, which is especially hard if you have other children. You can't drive for 2 weeks (or longer if you are still on the stronger pain killers). It was hard for me to go up and down stairs, get into and out of bed, and do most of my daily routine. My friend who had a c-section had a horrible infection afterwards, which is definitely a risk with any surgery, and wound up back in the hospital. Getting back into exercising was hard. A c-section is major surgery- I don't recommend it unless it is truly necessary.
D.R. answers from Denver on May 22, 2009
I ended up with a VBAC, although I wanted to have a repeat C-section (baby came way fast). Compared to the C-section, recovery for me was 100X easier with the VBAC. This seems typical, though, and maybe you will be the exception to the rule. The C-section knocked me on my butt, and I couldn't lift anything for 6 weeks. With the vaginal, I was bouncing around the house 3 days later and lifting my 13 month old. I did not have a hard time getting my regular tummy back w/ the C-section.. no different than the vaginal.
A.C. answers from Colorado Springs on May 22, 2009
I had a VBAC. My c-section was emergency & while I was well-educated it was still more than I had expected. Recovery took me over 2 months. We had a manual trans truck at the time & shifting hurt me for about 3 months because of the ab pressure (& it wasn't a hard-shifting truck, just pushing the clutch was what hurt), simple things like picking up the baby carrier or the laundry basket hurt for at least 2 months. Walking up steps was horrible for 3 months & I only had 5 to navigate & that was if I went a certain way to get out of the apt building-my apt was one floor. Intimacy was painful too, & I bled for about 9 weeks total before it was all gone.
My VBAC was amazing. Two pushes & he shot out like a rocket. I had 2 stitches because he was sucking his fingers on the way out (turd!), but choosing between 2 stitches & 2 staples, I'd chose the vag birth any day! I had pressure for several days, but I only had actual pain when I did too much. I don't know about intimacy, hubby was deployed til baby was 3 mos old & I was totally fine by then. I had a 2.5 year old to chase & a deployed hubby the 2nd time. I couldn't have expected my friends to cart me around for 6 weeks (can't drive for 6 weeks post-section) & I didn't want to be that reliant on anyone else for everything.
J.M. answers from Denver on May 22, 2009
I have had both:
Downs of a c-section, long hospital stay, driving restrictions, lifting limits (won't be able to pick up your others for 8 weeks!), much more expensive, and I was unable to lay on my side for months, which made nursing at night difficult.
Downs of a vaginal, stitched due to partial 3rd degree tear, need for donut pillow, and hip discomfort due to pushing.
If I could choose I would always have a vaginal birth over a c-section.
Good luck making your decision.
M.A. answers from Denver on May 22, 2009
Here is my 2 cents for what it is worth.
I would definatley reccomend a natural birth unless your doctor thinks there is a particular reason that you had such problems with your previous recoveries.
I had a C-section first, and then a VBAC- and the natural birth was SOOOOO much better recovery- wise.
Especially since this is not your first child. I don't know how young your other kids are- but you will not be able to pick them up and hold them as after a c-section you cannot lift much weight. After the normal delivery I was up and around alot faster and it was much less painful. They also told me I could not drive for atleast 2 weeks after the c-section. But I would discuss it with your doctor.
A.K. answers from Pocatello on May 22, 2009
I think that recovering from a vaginal birth is so much easier than a c-section. Yes a vaginal birth recovery is painful but it gets better in a few days rather than weeks. Plus with other children do you really want to recover from a c-section and take care a newborn with two toddlers running around? Since it is stomach surgery the recovery and risks are so much greater. Go vaginal if you can and I think you'll be glad. If you have help from husband or family it will make it so much easier. Stay in bed with baby and nurse for the first few days.
S.N. answers from Salt Lake City on May 22, 2009
I've had two C-sections. My first was an emergency c-section and it was a rough recovery. I was worried about the second c-section but SO GLAD I didn't do a VBAC. The planned C-section was so smooth and I felt amazing after. I was up and cleaning my hospital room after 16 hours. Key is to take the pain meds they give you every four hours for the first week. It really does make a difference. And of course a doctor that you can really trust performing the surgery. I really didn't think a c-ection was that bad.
M.W. answers from Salt Lake City on May 22, 2009
I would have have a C-section ANY day over a vaginal birth. It's not hard to get back your shape if you work at it and the scar is not that bad.