Why do doctors prefer caesareans rather than vaginal births?

In general most OBGYNs would agree that if we can accomplish a vaginal delivery that would be preferred to a cesarean section (C-section). For mom it avoids the complications that can occur with a large abdominal surgery. Thankfully these complications are rare, but a C-section is still a major surgery, even if it does happen every day across the country. For baby we also think there are benefits that they receive from the process of a vaginal birth–there are some data so suggest that the physical squeezing of the infant as they pass through the birth canal can help with the development and function of their lungs in the first days of life and also that exposure to the bacterial environment of the vagina can confer other benefits to the baby’s immune system.

The only times an obstetrician would really recommend a C-section is when there is a real indication for it, or a contraindication for a vaginal delivery. Also some patients do elect to have C-sections, but this is a decision that should only be made after a thorough discussion of the issues at hand with your doctor.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

There are may reasons why caesarians are performed. Watch this video for a discussion of why a doctor might choose a caesarian delivery over vaginal birth.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.