The Benefits of a Vaginal Birth for Mum and Baby

Before we start, let it be known that I’m a big advocate for choosing the birth that suits you and your baby best. That said, this blog post explores the specific benefits of a vaginal delivery.

What are the benefits for you?

Postpartum recovery

Did you know that giving birth to your baby vaginally often results in a shorter recovery time after labour? In fact, if there have been no complications, then your recovery period should begin as soon as your baby is born! This isn't always the case as you may need stitches from tears and your body may feel physically exhausted from all the work it's just done but the point is - a vaginal birth can be a much smoother recovery than a caesarean birth, particularly an unplanned caesarean whereby your body has been through the throes of labour and then been put through a caesarean. If this has happened to you, then you'll know you need extra tender loving care in the postnatal period - not only physically but perhaps mentally. If you're struggling, be sure to speak up and get support.

Triggers milk production sooner

A vaginal birth prompts lactation to begin sooner, which improves your chances of breastfeeding successfully. This is because a vaginal birth is a physiological process and milk production is kicked off when the placenta releases from the uterine wall - this sends a message to your brain that your baby has been born and milk production should commence. This doesn't necessarily happen with a c-section and may mean that your milk is delayed. This isn't an absolute golden rule and to give yourself some postnatal support it's a good idea to express colostrum when pregnant - just in case you do end up having a c-section (of course if you have an elective booked you can plan all of this in which is handy!).

woman_breastfeeding_her_baby_after_giving_birth

Promotes maternal bonding

There is also a proven higher chance of bonding between you and your baby at birth - purely because you're likely to have higher levels of oxytocin and prolactin which elicits a strong maternal bond. This doesn’t mean you won’t bond with your baby if you have a c-section, it just means you have higher levels of prolactin and oxytocin if you give birth vaginally and those two hormones promote maternal bonding.

Feel-good factor

It has been shown that giving birth vaginally can give mothers a deep sense of achievement and emotional wellbeing and its well deserved. The same can be said for those who have opted for an elective c-section as the sense of empowerment in making your own, informed choices can put you on a well deserved high!

And are there benefits for your baby?

There certainly are and here are three important ones. Vaginal birth:

Helps your baby’s lungs

There is a lower chance of respiratory conditions because, each contraction squeezes the baby’s lungs in readiness for the outside world. In addition to contractions supporting lung development, being pushed out of the birth canal, assists with the proper development of their lungs which is due to your baby's lungs being squeezed as they move down the birth canal. The squeezing pushes fluid out of their lungs ahead of birth and means they're less likely to need support with breathing after they have been born

woman_and_newborn_baby

Helps the baby adjust being out of the womb

Not only is the baby’s lung development helped but other of their body systems can be boosted. For instance, their blood sugar regulation, temperature regulation and blood circulation. This is because they are more likely to have colostrum, be held skin to skin and have optimal cord clamping.

Improve your baby’s immune system

A vaginal birth also facilitates the improvement of your baby’s immune system function because healthy bacteria is passed to your baby and stimulates their immune response. As your baby moves down the birth canal they receive healthy bacteria called microbiomes. They also receive a second shot of healthy bacteria through your colostrum.

Remember that all of this doesn't mean that if you choose another route you’re doing your baby harm. Far from it! Making informed choices is SO important, and opting for the birth that suits you and your body best is always the priority. Your mental health is so important, and if you decide against a vaginal birth - that’s totally okay.

If you'd like to know more then check out our blogs - 3 common breastfeeding issues and how to avoid them and the benefits of breastmilk.

Finally, be sure to check out our YouTube Channel for lots more guidance and support for your pregnancy, birth and beyond.

 

vaginal-blog-details

The Benefits of a Vaginal Birth for Mum and Baby

vaginal-blog-details

Before we start, let it be known that I’m a big advocate for choosing the birth that suits you and your baby best. That said, this blog post explores the specific benefits of a vaginal delivery.

What are the benefits for you?

Postpartum recovery

Did you know that giving birth to your baby vaginally often results in a shorter recovery time after labour? In fact, if there have been no complications, then your recovery period should begin as soon as your baby is born! This isn't always the case as you may need stitches from tears and your body may feel physically exhausted from all the work it's just done but the point is - a vaginal birth can be a much smoother recovery than a caesarean birth, particularly an unplanned caesarean whereby your body has been through the throes of labour and then been put through a caesarean. If this has happened to you, then you'll know you need extra tender loving care in the postnatal period - not only physically but perhaps mentally. If you're struggling, be sure to speak up and get support.

Triggers milk production sooner

A vaginal birth prompts lactation to begin sooner, which improves your chances of breastfeeding successfully. This is because a vaginal birth is a physiological process and milk production is kicked off when the placenta releases from the uterine wall - this sends a message to your brain that your baby has been born and milk production should commence. This doesn't necessarily happen with a c-section and may mean that your milk is delayed. This isn't an absolute golden rule and to give yourself some postnatal support it's a good idea to express colostrum when pregnant - just in case you do end up having a c-section (of course if you have an elective booked you can plan all of this in which is handy!).

woman_breastfeeding_her_baby_after_giving_birth

Promotes maternal bonding

There is also a proven higher chance of bonding between you and your baby at birth - purely because you're likely to have higher levels of oxytocin and prolactin which elicits a strong maternal bond. This doesn’t mean you won’t bond with your baby if you have a c-section, it just means you have higher levels of prolactin and oxytocin if you give birth vaginally and those two hormones promote maternal bonding.

Feel-good factor

It has been shown that giving birth vaginally can give mothers a deep sense of achievement and emotional wellbeing and its well deserved. The same can be said for those who have opted for an elective c-section as the sense of empowerment in making your own, informed choices can put you on a well deserved high!

And are there benefits for your baby?

There certainly are and here are three important ones. Vaginal birth:

Helps your baby’s lungs

There is a lower chance of respiratory conditions because, each contraction squeezes the baby’s lungs in readiness for the outside world. In addition to contractions supporting lung development, being pushed out of the birth canal, assists with the proper development of their lungs which is due to your baby's lungs being squeezed as they move down the birth canal. The squeezing pushes fluid out of their lungs ahead of birth and means they're less likely to need support with breathing after they have been born

woman_and_newborn_baby

Helps the baby adjust being out of the womb

Not only is the baby’s lung development helped but other of their body systems can be boosted. For instance, their blood sugar regulation, temperature regulation and blood circulation. This is because they are more likely to have colostrum, be held skin to skin and have optimal cord clamping.

Improve your baby’s immune system

A vaginal birth also facilitates the improvement of your baby’s immune system function because healthy bacteria is passed to your baby and stimulates their immune response. As your baby moves down the birth canal they receive healthy bacteria called microbiomes. They also receive a second shot of healthy bacteria through your colostrum.

Remember that all of this doesn't mean that if you choose another route you’re doing your baby harm. Far from it! Making informed choices is SO important, and opting for the birth that suits you and your body best is always the priority. Your mental health is so important, and if you decide against a vaginal birth - that’s totally okay.

If you'd like to know more then check out our blogs - 3 common breastfeeding issues and how to avoid them and the benefits of breastmilk.

Finally, be sure to check out our YouTube Channel for lots more guidance and support for your pregnancy, birth and beyond.