Centers of Excellence
Find a Service Location
Join us for FREE screenings, seminars and educational booths to help you embrace your health and happiness.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 30 percent of all births in the United States are performed via cesarean delivery (C-section). Below, we explore common questions surrounding C-section births, including why your doctor may recommend it and why vaginal births are still the preferred delivery method.
There are a number of reasons why your doctor may recommend a cesarean delivery. Common examples include:
Examples of contraindications include:
One of the key reasons why vaginal birth is preferable to cesarean include the risks associated with surgery. These risks typically include: bleeding, infection, and risk to other nearby abdominal organs, such as the bladder, bowel, major blood vessels, and nerves.
Additionally, patients tend to have a shorter recovery time after a vaginal delivery. They typically experience less blood loss, a shorter hospital stay, and earlier resumption of activity – including exercise.
We typically counsel patients to expect to spend 2-4 nights in the hospital following a cesarean delivery. Full recovery is estimated at approximately six weeks. It can take 3-4 weeks before a patient is able to drive, following a cesarean.
Patients who deliver vaginally can expect to stay in the hospital 1 – 2 nights.
The major difference between a vaginal delivery versus a C-section comes in the recovery process. It takes more time to achieve ambulation (ability to walk around), eating a regular diet, and pain control to be able to carry out daily activities with a C-section versus vaginal delivery.
Typically, a cesarean delivery will take approximately one hour. It can take longer if there is a history of prior abdominal surgery or prior cesarean due to the presence of scar tissue.
About Elizabeth Jarvis, MD
Dr. Jarvis is an OB/GYN with WakeMed Physician Practices. Her clinical interests include fertility, abnormal uterine bleeding, minimally invasive and robotic-assisted surgery, family planning and contraception, high risk and routine obstetrics care.
3000 New Bern Ave.
Raleigh, NC 27610