Why a C Section is Sometimes Necessary

Even though you are planning a natural childbirth, some knowledge of a c section or caesarean section is wise. This may not be your birth method of choice, but sometimes our best laid plans can go wrong.

What is a c section?

A c section is a surgically assisted birth. The surgeon makes an incision in the abdomen and the uterus to remove the baby. a regional anaesthetic - either epidural or spinal - is normally given, but in an emergency, a general anaesthetic may be necessary.

A c-section may be recommended if your doctor thinks there may be complications with a natural birth. Some women opt for a c section rather than a natural birth. Many health practitioners believe that there are too many c sections being performed unnecessarily and that the only call for surgery should be if there is a risk to mum or baby in a normal birth.

This may be the case, however every woman should have the right to choose when it comes to their body and choosing a birth method is no different.

You may need a c section if :

  • Your baby is in breach position and can't be turned
  • Your baby is too large to be born naturally
  • There are problems with the placenta. The placenta can either block your baby's exit through the cervix (placenta previa) or it can implant itself into the wall of the uterus (placenta accreta). Both these problems can cause excess bleeding during a normal birth.
  • Multiple births. If you're expecting twins - or more, a natural birth could take to long and be risky for both mum and babies.
  • Damage to the umbilical cord.
  • Labour is slow or has stopped
  • Your baby is showing signs of distress
  • You have an infection such as genital herpes

C section problems...

Apart from the usual risks of surgery and anaesthesia, there is a longer recovery period after a c section. You have just experienced surgery so will need a few days in hospital after the procedure. It could take up to 6 weeks for a full recovery.

There is a risk of breathing difficulties to the baby

There is an increased risk of excessive bleeding and a small risk of infection of the incision or surrounding tissues.

A slight risk of injury to other organs.

Apart from that, a c section costs more!

What to expect after a c section birth

If you've just had a c section, you may be disappointed you weren't able to give birth naturally. This is understandable, however the most important outcome is that both you and your baby are healthy.

It's normal to feel a range of emotions after giving birth including relief, disappointment, joy and fear. Your hormones levels are fluctuating and you may also be under stress from lack of sleep and the responsibilities of taking care of a tiny baby. If you're still feeling fragile after several weeks, you could  have post natal depression or "baby blues"

This is quite common so please see your doctor who will recommend treatment which will help you cope.

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