Whenever faced with this question, you should differentiate between planned normal delivery from planned C-section because the risks of unplanned, emergency C-section cannot be compared to the other two categories. Naturally, all emergency surgeries carry higher risks. These risks may, in part, be due to the sudden surgery and, in part, due to the reasons for the emergency surgery.
Medical Advancements support C Section:
Till about a decade ago we felt that a normal delivery is better than a planned caesarean section. However, it’s important to be scientific about this. A review of research articles on this topic conducted by NICE (National Institute of Clinical Excellence), a UK based organisation concerned with preparing scientific guidelines, says that the amount of risk of both is similar; only the type of risk is different.
C-section, for example, may be associated with longer hospital stay, more expense in certain hospitals, more bleeding, more heart attacks, less likely to return early to household activities and work, less likely to start breast feeding and to continue it beyond one month, more intensive care admission for the baby, more respiratory problems including asthma in the baby on growing up. The risks of these are very low, but exist. Further, there is slightly higher risk of maternal death.
The data on deep vein thrombosis, blood transfusions, wound infections, hysterectomy and anaesthetic complications is conflicting, but all are very low due to better techniques, anaesthesia medicines and antibiotics.
Normal delivery may be associated with more injuries to the birth passage and the urinary tract and women with previous such problems are well advised to opt for elective C-section. Some studies also suggest that women feel more confident, self-reliant and empowered after a normal delivery and feel a sense of failure after C-section. So all C-sections, planned as well as emergency, should be scientifically justified.
An important view is that more women opt for planned C-sections nowadays because horror stories of normal births have scared them. This is where a caring, warm, pleasing atmosphere combined with excellent scientific judgments can be of great help to deliver your child.