There are some women who never get the chance to have a vaginal birth – and I’m one of those people. Various health concerns forced my three pregnancies to end in C-sections. The first two pregnancies were early with large for gestational age infants and the final pregnancy ended in an emergency C-section with twins. Sometimes I look back and wonder if I really missed something by never having the opportunity to give birth vaginally. I think I missed an important part of motherhood and researchers agree.
Baby Bonded Improves with Vaginal Childbirth
When you carry an infant for 40 weeks, you have this bond that no one else can understand. You’ve felt every movement and giggled with baby as the first bout of hiccups happened. You felt the uncomfortable stretching when baby rolled in the latter days of the pregnancy and you expected to wait hours while your body readied for vaginal birth with contractions, ice chips and contraction monitors. What happened was not anything you’d planned for. You gave birth via C-section and now baby is out and you never went through some of the structural changes that prepare you for motherhood during vaginal delivery.
Researchers scanned the brain of women who delivered via C-section and vaginal delivery. When a recording of their baby crying was played, the brains of mothers who birthed naturally responded differently than the brains of mothers who gave birth by C-section. The area most notably affected controls empathy and emotion…so vaginal births may lead to a closer bond between mom and baby than C-section deliveries.
I’m pretty sure I feel differently about my children than other mothers. I’m not that mom who jumps up to check on her kids at the first sign of injury or pain. I’ve always held the mentality that if something were really wrong I’d know when to respond. I watch other mothers bond on a completely different level with their children and I wonder if they gave birth vaginally.