- C-section is surgical procedure to deliver a baby
- A doctor choose to have C-section when the life of either the mother or baby or both are in danger
- Pregnancy complications like preeclampsia and problems with placenta leads to C-section
- It also has some health risks like extended recovery period and blood loss for the mother
- Clear your doubts with the doctor about the need for a C-section
Cesarean delivery as it commonly called C-Section often acts as a life saver for the mother or baby or both. It is performed if the obstetrician and the team find it risky to wait for a vaginal birth.
C-Section is the process of delivering a baby through an incision made in the lower abdomen and uterus wall of a pregnant woman. A vaginal birth is a natural process and hence found to be safe even without any external interventions. But, a C-section, being a surgical process, possesses some risks.
The World Health Organization has provided strict guidelines to control C-section deliveries. The organization recommends C-section only if it is risky to have a vaginal birth as the number of C-sections is on the rise globally. C-section can cause health risks to both the mother and the baby. But the doctor may opt for it if there are conditions like pregnancy complications exist.
Some of those factors that lead to a C-section are:
- Labor that did not progress to the birth
- Uterine rupture
- Placenta Previa (Low lying placenta)
- Failed labor induction
- Failed assisted delivery
- Large baby with a weight more than 4kg
- Presence of Sexually Transmitted Disease
- Abnormal positioning of the baby
- Multiple pregnancy
- The abnormal ratio of sizes of baby’s head to mother’s pelvis size. (cephalopelvic disproportion)
A cesarean section will also be conducted in the rare case of a posthumous birth in which the mother is dead and the baby still alive inside. A C-section can be performed by urgency or by a plan. Urgency cesarean is conducted when the mother experience prolonged labor or sudden issues that arrive unexpectedly. A planned one is usually conducted either when the health risk of the mother is diagnosed earlier, and the team of Gynecologists and other doctors decides for C-section or when the mother chooses to have C-section for some reasons. In the case of preferred C-section by the mother, it should not be performed before 39 weeks of gestation.
A resuscitative hysterotomy is an emergency cesarean delivery carried out when the mother faces a cardiac arrest. In such cases, the life of the mother would be prioritized due to which surgery would be conducted despite the fetal viability.
A C-section is similar to a normal surgical procedure and has some risks to both the mother and the baby.
Some of the risks that the mother experience are:
It is a possible risk in all surgeries including a C-section. Infections may occur at the incision on the abdomen or uterus.
2. Blood loss
A surgical delivery may result in large blood loss when compared to a vaginal birth.
The scar tissue healing the incision may form inside pelvic region causing pain and blockage. It may also result in complications in the next pregnancy.
4. More days in the hospital
When compared to a vaginal birth, C-section demands more days in the hospital as the doctor needs to evaluate the healing of the incision.
5. Reactions to the medications
There can be some kind of reactions to the anesthetic medications injected during the surgery.
6. Emotional issues
Some mothers may feel guilt or unlikely about a C-section delivery of the baby causing emotional issues in the mother. It may also affect the bonding between the mother and baby.
Similar issues can also be present in the baby born through a C-section delivery.
Below see the risks for a baby:
1. Respiratory problems
Though conducted in a full term pregnancy, a baby born through C-section delivery is found to have initial issues with breathing.
2. Fetal injury
Though it is very rare, an injury to the baby when the incision is made can also happen.
3. Low APGAR values
APGAR test is conducted in one minute and five minutes after the birth of the baby. It evaluates the basic characteristics of the baby to know if any medical aid is needed or not. It includes assessing the baby’s appearance, heart beat rate, reflexes, muscle tone and respiration.
When a doctor recommends a C-section for you, understand the reasons behind it. Don’t hesitate to clear the doubts with the doctor. You can also seek for any other viable option. If it’s an emergency, the decision should be taken without wasting time.
Generally, it takes a minimum of one week to recover from a C-section. But the mother can start breastfeeding when she feels comfortable and able to hold the baby without strain. It is also important to be physically active as a C-section increases the chance of getting Deep Vein Thrombosis (blood clot in a deep vein, mostly in the leg).