Mom of three experienced normal, CS, and VBAC—spills the beans on which delivery is the best

·8 min read

Normal delivery, CS or VBAC, which is the best way to give birth?

What can you read in this article?

  • An honest account of the different types of delivery – pros and cons of labor and recovery

  • Want to try VBAC? Here’s what you should do

  • Normal delivery, CS or VBAC, which is the best way to give birth?

Every pregnancy is different. I should know, I’ve had three. And giving birth is also different for each baby. I can definitely attest to this, as I’ve had different experiences with each of them. I’ve had a normal delivery, a cesarean section delivery, and vaginal birth after cesarean or VBAC.

So the question is, which is the best way to give birth? Let me tell you my story.

Normal delivery

Like any first-time mom, I was not fully ready on the day I gave birth to my daughter. It was early in the morning, I was preparing my husband’s clothes for work when I felt the need to pee. My belly felt heavy because I had a long walk the night before.

I was on the way to the bathroom when suddenly, fluid started gushing down my legs. I knew it wasn’t pee or anything, but I still had to confirm from a mommy friend that indeed, my water broke.

We headed to the hospital right away, and when the nurses gave me an internal examination or IE, my cervix hasn’t fully dilated. I wasn’t feeling any contractions. However, since my water bag already broke and the amniotic fluid was getting low, they had to induce labor.

Process of inducing labor

When the process of inducing labor started, the pain went from zero to 20! I could feel every contraction and since it was my first time to give birth, I felt so much pain.

best way to give birth
best way to give birth

Image from Freepik

Since the labor was being induced, my heart rate and baby’s heart rate were closely monitored. After hours of excruciating pain, the midwives were worried because my baby’s heart rate was becoming lower. They said it was probably because of cord coil.

The first thing I felt was panic. I was tired from the pushing, but more importantly, I was worried for my daughter. Since we were living abroad then and wouldn’t have to pay for anything at the hospital, I told them to just go for the cesarean section (CS).

But the veteran Pinay midwives told me to hold on, “Konting push na lang, kayanin mo,” they said. And true enough, I was able to hold on and gave birth to a healthy baby girl through vaginal delivery.

The recovery was quick. The next day I was already able to go around the hospital and bring the baby out in the morning sun. I ate ice cream too. I would say it took me a week for my body to fully recover from childbirth (breastfeeding was a whole different story though).

Cesarean delivery

It was a whole different experience for my second pregnancy. We decided to move back to the Philippines and since I knew that giving birth via CS would be expensive, we set our sights for another normal delivery.

I had gestational diabetes, so we even consulted an endocrinologist to get my blood sugar under control.

On the day of my second daughter’s birth, I experienced contractions. Like they said, you’ll know when you have it. It’s the kind of pain that just keeps coming and going and coming again. However, when we arrived at the hospital and I got an IE, the nurses said my cervix hasn’t fully dilated (I’m starting to see a pattern here).

So they just hooked me up on an IV, and made me wait in the labor room. I was already given an epidural to lessen the pain I was feeling, but it was still so painful. I knew I had to go through the motions so I was okay with it.

However, after a few hours, my OB-GYN noticed that the baby’s heartbeat was slowing down. She said that might affect the supply of oxygen in her brain and could lead to some serious complications. So they would have to perform an emergency CS delivery. And while a cesarean delivery was not in our plan, I decided to trust my OB for my baby’s sake.


So they prepared me for the surgery. The anesthesia, for me, was even more painful than the contractions. But after that, my body felt numb. I was awake the whole time they were doing the surgery, but I didn’t feel any pain at all.

The surgery took less than an hour, and we welcomed our baby girl. We had to be separated though because they had to monitor her and I had to stay in the recovery room.

The recovery was more difficult than my first pregnancy. I wasn’t able to walk until the next day, and even then, I felt so much pain because I couldn’t pee on my own.

My bladder was full but I couldn’t pee. At one point, they had to reattach my catheter. There was a whole checklist of things I needed to do before I could be discharged, such as peeing, passing gas, and pooping.

The hard part for me was slowing down after the surgery. I wasn’t used to walking so slow, and not lifting things, and I wasn’t even allowed to carry my daughter while standing.

Also, I had to make sure the stitch doesn’t open up, and no matter how itchy it was because of the binder, I wasn’t allowed to scratch it to avoid infection. I would say the recovery from CS took twice as long as the normal delivery.

best way to give birth
best way to give birth

Image from Freepik

Vaginal birth after cesarean

I first heard about VBAC from a friend who had a traumatizing experience with her CS delivery. The main reason we decided to go for it was for economical reasons. But also, I didn’t want to go through the trouble of recovering from CS. I was going to be a mom of three, and I needed my strength.

I consulted with my friend’s OB-GYN, an expert on VBAC. On our first meeting, she asked about my pregnancy history to see if I was a viable candidate for VBAC.

She was very upfront with what she was expecting from me – she said I had to cooperate to increase my chances of a successful VBAC delivery.

She was very thorough with her instructions, which I followed to a T. From exercising starting my second trimester (she had a whole binder dedicated to that), keeping my blood sugar in control, keeping baby’s weight in check, to having sexual intercourse on the days leading to my due date (it’s a natural way to stimulate labor), I made sure that I did what she told me.

My OB-GYN prepared me enough for the day of delivery. I knew what to expect.

Like my last pregnancy, I experienced contractions and my cervix was already 6 cm when we got to the hospital. However, I already anticipated this, learning from my previous pregnancies.

Inducing labor and getting an epidural was out of the question, as I needed to feel the natural urge to push to be able to deliver the baby via vaginal birth. So instead of just lying in bed waiting for the time to push, I was encouraged to walk around with my husband and do some light exercises while still being closely monitored by the nurses.

After a few hours, labor has progressed and it was time to push. I pushed with all my might to bring my baby boy out safely into the world. And when I was sure that I was able to do the delivery successfully, I dozed off.

We were discharged the next day. Recovery was almost just the same as my first pregnancy, even quicker in my opinion. Compared to CS where I needed to slow down, I felt that I had so much energy after the third time I gave birth. By that time, I also learned to sleep when the baby sleeps.

best way to give birth
best way to give birth

Image taken from Freepik

What is the best way to give birth?

To summarize, normal delivery was painful, but recovery was a breeze. Cesarean delivery was quick and almost painless, but the recovery takes longer. My experience in VBAC in terms of labor and delivery was almost the same as my first pregnancy, but I felt more equipped to handle it.

So, to answer the question, “Which is the best way to give birth?” I would say the one where baby is most safe.

Having experienced it all, I feel like us mothers can go through anything, just as long as we know that our little one is healthy and free from any risks or complication.

I also think that the best way to give birth is the one where you’re most prepared. So prepare yourself, physically and mentally for whatever it is that can happen during labor and delivery.

To find out which kind of delivery is most suitable and safe for you and your baby, always consult your OB-GYN.



The post Mom of three experienced normal, CS, and VBAC—spills the beans on which delivery is the best appeared first on theAsianparent Philippines: Your Guide to Pregnancy, Baby & Raising Kids.

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