C-section

A c-section or cesarean section is a process of delivering the baby through an operational incision in the mother's abdomen and uterus. C- section can be a viable option for you due to various reasons. In certain circumstances, the c-section is scheduled in advance, while in others, the surgery is needed due to an unforeseen complication. If your normal delivery ends up with some complexities and you or your baby is in impending danger, an emergency c-section might be the best option for you. Even though the C-section might seem like a dark looming cloud in front of you, understanding the process better might help you ease into it and make it less intimidating for you

Scheduled c-section

Your doctor might recommend a c-section instead of a vaginal delivery if:

  • You had a cesarean delivery earlier or had multiple c-section deliveries, which increases the chances of your uterus rupturing during a vaginal birth.

  • You had to undergo  some other kind of invasive uterine surgery

  • You're carrying multiple babies.

  • Your baby is anticipated to be very large

  • Your baby is in a breech or transverse position.

  • You have an obstruction like a large fibroid

  • The baby has a known deformity which would make a vaginal birth risky

  • You're HIV-positive, high viral load or active genital herpes

  • Mother’s health complications such as hypertension

  • Mother has problems with the placenta or umbilical cord

Unplanned C-section

Unplanned C-section might be on the cards if:

  • You have a genital herpes outbreak when you go into labor or when your water breaks.

  • Your cervix stops dilating

  • Your baby stops impelling down the birth canal

Emergency c-section

Emergency c-section might have to be approached if the following predicaments arise in the present labor.

  • Your baby's heart rate is concerning, and it is considered that your baby can't endure continued labor or induction.

  • The umbilical cord loops through your cervix.

  • Your placenta separates from your uterine wall

  • You're venturing a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC)

  • Reduced oxygen supply to the baby

  • Your labor was stalled

The process of C-section

Anesthesia: There are two types of anesthesia generally offered to delivering mothers:

  • Epidural: This is a type of anesthesia especially for vaginal and C-section deliveries, where the anesthesia is injected into the delivering mother’s lower back. There is still enough sensation left in such cases to allow the mother to push.There are three types of epidurals:

    • Traditional epidurals: The traditional epidurals is used to block and anesthetize the lower part of the body. These epidurals take about 20 minutes to show their effect.

    • Walking epidurals: Walking epidurals numbs woman's abdominal nerves, because of which she can still move around and feel herself pushing a baby.

    • Spinal epidurals: A dose of one injection is given if spinal epidurals are used during childbirth. The numbing effect of these epidurals fades off quickly as compared to other forms of epidurals.

  • General anesthesia: This type of anesthesia puts the patient straight to sleep and purely reserved for emergency situations if a sudden complexity pops up.

Procedure

  • The anesthesia will be provided to you, and once the anesthesia has taken the impact, your belly will be swept with an antiseptic

  • The doctor will make a small, horizontal cut right above your pubic bone.

  • The doctor will cut through the underlying tissue towards your uterus. On reaching your abdominal muscles, they will spread apart to reveal the uterus within.

  • The doctor will then make a horizontal cut in the lower section of the uterus, which is also called a low-transverse uterine incision. Sometimes the doctor may also opt for a vertical uterine incision.

  • The doctor will then reach in and pull out your baby.

  • The cord will be cut, and you might have a chance to see the baby.

  • The doctor will then deliver your placenta and then begin stitching you up.

Risks

C-section is significant abdominal surgery and far riskier than a vaginal delivery. Most pregnant moms are encouraged to go for a vaginal delivery whenever that is a viable option. Some of the prominent risks of a c-section delivery are:

  • Moms who birthed their child having a c-sections are more likely to struggle with infection, excessive bleeding, blood clots, postpartum pain and a prolonged hospital stay and a longer recovery.

  • Babies born via elective c-section are more likely to have breathing problems.

  • Each c-section increases your future uncertainty of having a vaginal childbirth and complications such as placenta previa and placenta accreta.

Recovery

C-section is a major surgery and takes longer to heal than a normal delivery. You might be required to stay in your hospital longer before you head out to your home.  However, there are certain things you can do to make the recovery process fast and smooth.

  • Take rest

  • Sit or stand in correct posture to support your abdomen

  • Drink plenty of fluids

  • Avoid sex for four to six weeks

  • Take pain medications as prescribed by a doctor

  • Avoid lifting anything heavier other than your new baby for the first couple of weeks

  • No exercise for 4-6 weeks

  • No driving

Call your doctor:

If you have any of the following  symptoms, give your doctor a quick call:

  • Breast pain

  • Fever

  • Vaginal discharge or bleeding with large clots

  • Painful urination

  • Any signs of infection in the incision

  • Mood swings, fatigue or postpartum depression 

C-section is not someone's first option in most cases, as the benefits of natural birth surpass the convenience of a C-section. However, it is not a choice in most cases as childbirth is an unpredictable process where things can go either way. In cases where the vaginal delivery may pose several problems in the mommy and baby's health, C-section might be the best option out there. After everything, the focus should be on having the child and the mother in a safe position and ensuring that there is no complication. Whichever process of delivery brings us the best, and the most reliable result is the one we should go for and the best person to help you decide is your doctor.

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