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C-section vs. Vaginal/Natural Birth for Moms with Diabetes – What You Need to Know

October 17, 2016

Pregnancy is that time of amazement where the body goes through so many bodily changes that are unexplainable and bizarre in the form of frequent mood swings and craving for many things, especially food. Then there are the weird changes that your skin and hair goes through. Now on top of that, women with diabetes have to go through that time with unpredictable ups and downs of the glucose levels.

There was a time when pregnancy with diabetes was a rare occurrence; however, nowadays, it has become quite common. Nevertheless, with care and planning, women who suffer from both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can get through the entire ordeal safely and have healthy babies. 


A research at the University of Liverpool has found that women who have diabetes also have impaired uterine contractility. This means during delivery time, diabetic women may end up pushing for hours, but may still fail to succeed. 

One significant difference between the diabetic and non diabetic moms-to-be is that moms with diabetes are induced with various medications including oral meds as well as insulin. The thing with induced labour is that it easily doubles the odds of a birth through cesarean. Once you have had a surgical C section, your chances of having a natural birth again are low. Any doctor will tell you that vaginal modes of delivery are the best for any pregnant woman. The reason behind this is that there is better recovery in place of a major surgery that causes a lot of blood loss and there is always a risk of several surgical complications. 


Sometimes, for pregnant women, there is no other option than surgery. The reasons why one might settle for surgery differ. It could be because of pre-eclampasia, which is a condition where the woman has excess protein in urine and high blood pressure for 20 weeks. Or it could be because of failed induction, obstructed labour, unwarranted fetal growth, etc. 


The Co founder of Diabetes Daily, Elizabeth Edelman, is one woman who talked about her account as diabetic pregnant woman where she could not contract well. But she decided she wanted to go with natural delivery any way. Her team of OBs told her that if she went over 40 weeks, they would induce; however, she went into labour in 39 weeks. She emphasized that she had to count every carbohydrate she consumed all through her pregnancy and also practiced yoga, all so that she would have a better chance at delivering naturally. 

It is important that you decide what you want to go with when it comes to the delivery method. However, it is very important that you engage in consistent communication with your OB/GYN and that you are individually monitored throughout the pregnancy so that you have a better chance of going through with the decision of delivery method that you prefer. You may even want to discuss the need for a bigger dose of oxytocins, which is a natural hormone that induces labour.

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