Your Pregnancy - - Pregnancy Files - Tina Otte Mid­wife, child­birth ed­u­ca­tor and spe­cial­ist edi­tor of Your Preg­nancy

Q:I’m ex­pect­ing my first child and am find­ing it extremely dif­fi­cult to de­cide whether nat­u­ral birth should be the route to take. I’m not con­cerned about labour it­self, but rather the af­ter ef­fects nat­u­ral birth would have on the mus­cle and in par­tic­u­lar the size of the vagina. An­other con­cern is that the process would have a neg­a­tive im­pact on one’s li­bido. At this stage I’m lean­ing more to­wards hav­ing a C-sec­tion, how­ever this is a ma­jor op­er­a­tion and I’m not sure whether it’s worth go­ing through, es­pe­cially since longer heal­ing time is re­quired.

A:Tina an­swers: A woman has been de­signed to give birth vagi­nally and in re­al­ity about 15 per­cent of women will need as­sis­tance in the form of a cae­sarean. If you have no com­pli­ca­tions and you pre­pare your­self phys­i­cally and learn how to work with your body, vagi­nal birth is the best way to de­liver your baby. Do­ing pelvic floor ex­er­cises be­fore and af­ter de­liv­ery is im­per­a­tive in get­ting the tone and strength back into the per­ineal area. The birth it­self should not have a neg­a­tive im­pact on your li­bido (although cop­ing with the chal­lenges of be­ing a new mom may!). Nat­u­ral birth is the most spec­tac­u­lar, amaz­ing event, and you should not be de­prived of the ex­pe­ri­ence due to mis­in­for­ma­tion. I urge you to at­tend child­birth ed­u­ca­tion classes and get more in­for­ma­tion be­fore mak­ing a fi­nal de­ci­sion.

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