Choice: cesarean v.s. vaginal birth


Do you think that women should be able choose between vaginal and cesarean births, with all of the risks and complications associated with c-sections?

Long Term Care Columnist / Guide

VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN

142 Articles; 9,982 Posts

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych. Has 26 years experience.

Sure........but I wonder why anyone would CHOOSE a cesarean, with all the extra risks, pain, and longer recovery period. I've had 2 vaginal births and 3 'sections', and if I'd had my druthers I'd have opted for the natural delivery every time. :stone

Specializes in Nurse Manager, Labor and Delivery.

Although I don't understand why someone would, I would respect a decision for an elective c/s.

For some reason, women really think that a c/s is easier than a vag delivery. I don't know where it came from...who told...or what. I just had a patient this weekend in for induction. She was post dates and of course, unfavorable, and was pitocin-ized all day and turned off. She announced she wasnt' going to do this all day again and asked for a c/s. I just looked at her and wished again for that day for all nurses...just ONE day when we could say whatever we wanted and there would be no reprocussion. I thought...what else do you have to do??? It wasn't like she was laboring all day and then turned off...she wasn't even having pain. I cringe now to even think of it. I am really beginning to hate THE BABY STORY...because obviously babies need to come out in 30 mins...(with commercials). She ended up with her section and yada yada yada.

Popular thinking is since you don't have to go thru labor, it is far better the experience to just have the vaginal bypass surgery. They don't realize the risks, the post surgical pain and complications. They just see the light at the end of the tunnel.

As a side...have any of you noticed that you get the parents in who beg for induction, and then you get them into labor and they say many times "I CAN'T DO THIS!!!!. Then the baby comes and they don't want to take care of it??? THIS IS PURELY RANTING NOW....and then the women who elect to have a c/s also elect not to get out of bed or shower or feed the baby or do anything remotely resembling anything physical????? sorry...I digress.

I think there are some women who truly don't want to labor. I don't think surgery is the answer, but I feel that option should be there. There are cases in abuse where vag exams and the birth process would be just way to painful for the woman to experience...and in that case a section would be prudent.

Society is really going in a direction that is frustrating. Hospitals now are more like hotels with skilled waitresses. I feel that way sometimes. It matters not that I have this certification or this much education...or that I saved your life and your baby's life...what comes back to bite you in the butt is that you didn't bring them water in a timely manner, or the bed was too hard, or they couldn't get monster garage on the tv. Again, I digress...and I will stop now.

Thanks for


6,620 Posts

No I don't. Aside from the complications associated with sections, there is the matter of simple economics. A section mom is in the hospital longer, taking up a bed. Her delivery costs more. When we are cutting money to medicaid and hospitals are looking at closing units for financial reasons, I don't see how we can justify wasting resources like that. A doctor is not required to perform unecessary surgery. Unfortunately, most people seem to think that hospitals are hotels and they can have anything they want whenever they want. And they'll continue to get their way.


16 Posts

I'm pretty new here- my 4th post, but I'd like to state my opinion.

I live in the DEEP South and our C-sec rates are through the roof and our breastfeeding rates are WAY down.

I myself have had 4- yes 4 C-sec, I have hated them ALL, I honestly believe they were all done for the Dr's convenience. Birth has been so medicalized (is that a real word?), I think a lot of people need to step back and realize that as women our bodies CAN (MOST of the time) do what they are designed to do. Sure, there's pain, sure it's messy, sure it's not pretty, but so what?

I think, overall, the hospitals, Drs, midwives, whoever needs to help better educate women on the risks of C-sec, and the reality of birth. I think SO many people out there are getting their birthing knowledge from Baby Story and Birth Day and such and it just isn't enough.

Now, I realize this topic is where I stand HIGH on my soapbox and I am at the extreme opposite pole from someone who would REQUEST a C-sec. I told my DH its a good thing my tubes have been tied because if I got pg again I would homebirth, LOL. He didn't find it as amusing as I did.

Sorry if I overstepped my boundaries here! ;)


347 Posts

I believe in INFORMED consent. However, I think most people desiring elective c/s and even induction have absolutly no clue about the risks and consequences of the procedure they are chosing.

allnurses Guide

Spidey's mom, ADN, BSN, RN

11,302 Posts

I completely agree that undergoing a cesarean for no real reason is not appropriate medicine.

However, having gone through 3 natural labor and deliveries myself and hating the feeling of not being able to control my body, I actually secretly wished for a cesarean with my 4th baby.

I ended up with an emergency cesarean with my 4th - and I have to say that the procedure itself was no big deal. It did take longer to recup but all in all it wasn't that bad for me. My goal of course was a healthy baby.

5 days later I was at our cousin's reunion and then the next night we went to my husband's 30 high school reunion . . . thank God for pain meds though.

I breastfed when I got back to my room. Actually he is almost 4 and we just quit b/fing a few months ago. I breastfed all my kids.



583 Posts

in short, no.

I personally don't agree that it's ethical to offer primary elective c-sections and am glad to work with providers who agree, in a hospital where C/S are still considered out of medical necessity, not vanity or convenience.

Specializes in Nurse Manager, Labor and Delivery.
in short, no.

I personally don't agree that it's ethical to offer primary elective c-sections and am glad to work with providers who agree, in a hospital where C/S are still considered out of medical necessity, not vanity or convenience.

I am interested to hear why you think it is unethical. There are thousands of elective surgeries every single day. Why is this any different?

I am not trying to start something...just really curious. I am NOT an advocate of c/s for any other reason than medical necessity.



29 Posts


I've had 2 csections - one after 12 hours of hard labor with a stuck baby, and 1 elective. I absolutely loved the second. (the only bad thing during the first was the pain i was in before the section) It was a wonderful birth experience (before, during and after). I have nothing to complain about with the csections. I could eat normal, was walking within about 6 hours of the delivery, had no problem holding the babies, etc.

If I were to get pregnant again my next would also be a section. Thank God I have an OB/hospital that respects a womans right to choose when it comes to reproductive & birthing options.


20,964 Posts

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis. Has 26 years experience.

It would depend on medical history and situation, if you ask me. I can't say an absolute "no" or "yes" that would fairly cover all cases.

This topic is now closed to further replies.