Introduction – Why & When Doctors Advise Cesarean Section,
Why It Is Important
A Cesarean section (C-section) is a surgical procedure used to deliver a baby through incisions in the abdomen and uterus. Doctors may advise a C-section in various circumstances where vaginal delivery might pose risks. This can include prolonged labor, distress of the baby, certain medical conditions in the mother, or if the baby is in an abnormal position. A C-section is important as it can save the lives
of the mother and/or the baby when complications arise.
Certain conditions increase the likelihood of a C-section, including:
- Previous C-section: Once a C-section, always a C-section is not always true, but it often applies.
- Multiple pregnancy: Twin or higher-order pregnancies, especially if the first baby is not in a head-down position.
- High blood pressure or diabetes: These conditions increase the risk of having a C-section.
- Breech position: If the baby is in a buttock-first or feet-first position, a C- section might be safer.
- Placenta previa: When the placenta blocks the cervical opening, C-section is required.
C-sections are typically performed for the safety of the mother, the baby, or both.In many cases, they may not be preventable. However, maintaining a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy can reduce some risk factors. Regular prenatal care can also allow for early detection of potential problems.
Myths, Misconceptions, and Facts
Myth: A woman can’t have a vaginal birth after a C-section.
Fact: Many women can have a vaginal birth after a cesarean, known as VBAC, though it comes with certain risks.
Myth: C-section is the easier option.
Fact: A C-section is major surgery and requires a longer recovery period and carries more risks than a vaginal birth.
Myth: Women don’t bond as well with their babies after a C-section.
Fact: The type of delivery does not affect the ability to bond with the baby.
Myth: You can’t breastfeed after a C-section.
Fact: Breastfeeding can be started immediately after a C-section. The mother might need assistance due to the discomfort from the surgery.
Myth: A C-section is less painful than vaginal delivery.
Fact: While labor pain might be avoided, the recovery from a C-section can be quite painful.
Myth: A mother can’t have a C-section if she wants one.
Fact: Some mothers may choose a planned C-section for various reasons. It’s important to discuss the risks and benefits with the healthcare provider.
Myth: All women who have a C-section have it under general anesthesia.
Fact: Most C-sections are performed under regional anesthesia, like an
epidural or spinal block, so the mother can be awake during the birth.