The Ultimate Guide to Childbirth: Normal Delivery Vs. Cesarean - Which Is Better?


Motherhood is a pure joy to celebrate and is considered the most beautiful gift of nature for a woman. The 9-month period ranges from gestation to birth. This period, where the baby grows in the womb, is called the gestation period. The period is from conception to birth. Normal and cesarean delivery are the two most common ways of childbirth available for every expectant mother.

Your healthcare provider will study your health factors, including your baby's health condition, before deciding the best delivery method for you. Taking a complete picture into account will help them decide if a vaginal delivery is safer than a cesarean. It also depends on whether you have any pregnancy or labour complications. Sometimes, a c-section is necessary and can also be life-saving. So, normal delivery or cesarean, which is better? The article will discuss all the facts regarding normal delivery vs cesarean delivery.

What Is Normal Delivery?

A normal or vaginal delivery is the natural process of giving birth. Your cervix thins and expands while your uterus contracts, allowing you to push your baby through the birth canal. During labour, you'll feel strong menstrual cramps, intense backaches, and uterine contractions when your baby emerges from your vagina. Vaginal delivery is advantageous yet very tiring due to zero surgical intervention. It can take several hours for you to deliver your baby naturally.

What Is Cesarean Delivery?

A cesarean or C-section is a planned surgical procedure for delivering a baby. Your obstetrician will make an incision in your abdomen and uterus for delivering your baby. A C-section is often planned for medical reasons when natural delivery is impossible. It can also be unplanned during labour when some problem arises.

A cesarean is also advisable if your baby is huge or your pelvis is too small. It also takes place if your baby is not in a heads-down position. While a C-section is often considered safe and sometimes also life-saving, certain risks are involved. First-time C-sections most often lead to the same procedure in future pregnancies. However, your doctor will study your health history and suggest if you can have a vaginal delivery in the future.

Major Advantages and Disadvantages of Normal Delivery

Both normal and cesarean delivery carry specific types of benefits and risks. If you're confused, discussing your health history and considering the pros and cons of both types of deliveries is advisable. Your obstetrician will observe your health condition and check for complications, if any, before deciding on the type of delivery.

Pros of normal delivery

  • Vaginal birth typically needs a much shorter hospital stay and recovery than a C-section
  • Normal delivery via the vagina significantly reduces or avoids the risks associated with surgery. These could be severe bleeding, infections, scarring, and long-lasting pain.
  • A new mother can have immediate contact with her baby and start breastfeeding immediately.
  • In the normal delivery process, muscles squeeze out fluids from the newborn's lungs. This significantly reduces the risk of the baby suffering from breathing problems at birth.

Cons of normal delivery

  • The process of vaginal delivery is longer and more physically demanding
  • It can strain and stretch the vagina to a significant extent, leading to vaginal tears or other internal injuries
  • There's a higher risk of the mother suffering from loss of urine and bowel control
  • A woman can develop pain in the perineum (the region between her vagina and anus)
  • The mother can suffer from injury to the pelvic muscles
  • Vaginal delivery can weaken the groyne muscles
  • The baby can suffer from a bruised scalp due to prolonged labour

Major Advantages and Disadvantages of Cesarean Delivery

It's advisable to decide between normal delivery or cesarean only after thoroughly understanding the pros and cons of C-section.

Pros of cesarean delivery

  • A C-section helps the mother-to-be discuss and schedule her delivery at her convenience.
  • Cesarean delivery takes only 45 minutes compared to a vaginal delivery, which can take hours
  • A C-section is efficient and easier to perform
  • The mother doesn't suffer from urinary or bowel incontinence
  • There's no risk of pelvic organ prolapse in cesarean delivery
  • It can be life-saving in the case of certain complications that are risky for normal delivery
  • There's a significant reduction in the illness and death rate in C-section

Cons of cesarean delivery

  • Hospitalization time is much longer.
  • Chances of post-delivery issues like soreness, infection, or pain at the incision area are higher.
  • It often doesn't allow for immediate breastfeeding
  • Cesarean is much costlier compared to normal delivery
  • There's a high risk of blood loss or clotting
  • C-sections can lead to complications in future pregnancies
  • D-section babies are prone to higher risks of developing breathing issues like asthma later in life
  • You most probably cannot have a vaginal delivery in future pregnancies

Basic Comparison Between Normal and Cesarean Delivery

The debate between natural birth vs c-section uncovers interesting facts and precautions. Let us explore the basic difference between normal and cesarean delivery.

A vaginal birth is considered safer than a C-section if no complications are found in your pregnancy or labour. Normal delivery is also beneficial for maintaining fertility for a longer time. Your future pregnancies will be less complicated, too.

However, a C-section is needed in specific cases to save the life of the mother or the baby. In such cases, undergoing a C-section becomes inevitable. A cesarean is also advisable if your labour is not advancing as planned by your obstetrician. The doctor will opt for it only after assessing your condition thoroughly, including observing how well your baby is coping.


Your doctor will answer all your doubts regarding normal delivery vs cesarean delivery. No matter the type of delivery, the utmost priority is to ensure that the mother and baby are safe.  However, it's essential to keep your doctor in the loop throughout pregnancy. As suggested, regular screening, checkups, and nutrition will benefit both you and your baby and also make your doctor's job much easier while you enjoy a quick, hassle-free recovery.