C-Section Facts and Risks

C-Section Facts and Risks
When planning your birth, one of the things you will need to think about is whether or not you will have a natural birth or a cesarean section. C-sections rates are climbing due to many different reasons. When going in for your labor and delivery, you should be armed with as much information as possible. Elective c-sections are becoming increasingly popular. Women are asking their doctors to do a c-section for convenience. Before you make that tough decision you should know the facts.

Women would medically require a c-section for many reasons. Some of those reasons include a breach baby, placenta previa, placental abruption, a baby too large to fit through the birth canal or a mom that has had previous c-sections. Emergency c-sections may occur when a womans labor is slow and difficult or when labor fails to progress. There are many reasons a woman may ask for a c-section even if one is not medically necessary. Some women ask for a c-section so that they can plan it out. They want to know the day they will go to the hospital and leave all the guess work out of it. Some are afraid of what natural delivery will be like and are afraid they won’t be able to handle it. Some women even wonder if a c-section would prevent the "damage" a natural delivery would cause.

If you’re planning a natural delivery or wondering about c-sections you will need to know what happens when you deliver in that way.

-Anesthesia is administered, either as epidural or spinal nerve block
-You will lay on your back on the operation table and your arms will be secured to the table.
-An IV will be placed if you haven’t already had one put in.
-A catheter will be put into your bladder.
-Your upper pubic area may be shaved.
-Your abdomen will be washed.
-You will be continuously monitored by your anesthesiologist.
-Your doctor will make the incision and you will feel a lot of pressure and pulling as your baby is delivered.
-They will then deliver the placenta.
-They will then close up the incision with many layers of stitches.
-You will go into a recovery room for 1-4 hours while you are cleaned up and starting to regain feeling in your legs.
-After being monitored in recovery you will then be moved to your hospital room.

You should talk to your doctor and hospital staff to find out what they may do differently at your hospital as each hospital has different policies.

There are many risks and complications that can occur from a c-section, planned or not. A c-section is major surgery and can be accompanied by unwanted problems. Some of the risks include:

-Wound infection
-Problems with subsequent pregnancies
-Scar tissue build up on uterus causing uterine rupture
-Blood clots
-Hole in bladder
-Nausea, vomiting or severe headache caused from anesthesia
-Bowel problems (constipation)

Deciding how to deliver your baby is only one of the many difficult decisions you will have to make as a parent. Many doctors say that c-sections should not be performed before 39 weeks unless absolutely medically necessary. A baby born before 39 weeks is at a higher risk of having complications. It is thought that elective c-sections are not a good choice for many as your baby may not be ready and may not be fully developed. There are many premature babies born to elective c-sections due to the fact that dates may be off. Moms that deliver by c-section are less likely to breastfeed, and it takes longer for a mom to heal from a c-section than a natural delivery.

Whatever way you deliver, remember that the doctors will do everything they can to help you have the best delivery possible. Talk to your doctor and find out what your plan will be. Gather as much information as you can and do whatever you can to set yourself up for a great delivery. Find a doula to help during your labor or work with your spouse on figuring out what helps calm you down. You can have a natural delivery and if you end up needing a c-section at least you will be armed with the knowledge you need to get through it.

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