A cesarean delivery is surgery to deliver the baby when it can not be delivered vaginally. This procedure should only be done if your health or that of your baby is in danger. Here I tell you when they might suggest a cesarean section to give birth to your baby.
Many women are currently afraid of childbirth because they do not want to go through a painful experience. However, the woman’s body is designed to give birth, and the natural birth process speaks of the baby being born where it should: the vagina. If you have had a healthy pregnancy and your baby is also in good health, do not doubt nature and your ability to give birth naturally.
However, negative ideas about childbirth and pain have increased cesarean sections for convenience and not for medical reasons. For example, in the United States, cesarean births have increased in recent years.
Everyone decides the best for your health in cooperation with your doctor, but I recommend that a cesarean delivery be carried out only when medical circumstances warrant it and there is a high risk of endangering your health and that of your baby. I say this because after all, the cesarean section is a major surgery in which incisions (cuts) are made in the abdominal wall and uterus of the mother and complications canalso occur .
Although it is considered a safe procedure, cesarean delivery carries more risks. A vaginal delivery allows the woman a much faster recovery.
As I mentioned earlier, cesarean section is considered when there is some danger to the life of the mother or the baby. In general, obstetricians can recommend it when there are situations of risk and such as the following:
- The position of the baby is not with the head down, but with the buttocks or is located transversely or sideways in the uterus.
- The baby has some congenital malformation (birth defect) such as severe hydrocephalus .
- The mother has a placenta previa (when the placenta covers the cervix) or a low placenta (very close to the neck), which implies a risk of hemorrhage during vaginal delivery and should be avoided at all costs.
- The mother has some sexually transmitted disease such as HIV or genital herpes that may involve a risk to the baby’s health.
- It is a multiple pregnancy (twins, twins, triplets, etc.).
- The mother underwent surgery of the uterus or caesarean section previously. However, many women can have a safe vaginal delivery after having a cesarean, especially if the cut that was previously made in the uterus was a horizontal cut. This is called Vaginal Birth after Cesarean or PVDC.
- The mother has diabetes or hypertension .
- The baby is very big.
Sometimes, a mother may start a normal labor, but as time goes on complications arise that require an emergency cesarean section to be resolved. This happens if:
- After many hours of labor, labor does not progress or becomes slow (an abnormal evolution in labor).
- There is fetal distress, when the baby’s heartbeat or heart rate is abnormal. This reflects how the baby is handling the contractions. Typically, your heart rate is between 120 and 160 beats per minute. If the heart rate decreases, it is necessary to take immediate measures such as administering oxygen to the mother, changing her position, giving her fluids and giving her a cesarean delivery.
- The placenta is detached from the wall of the uterus prematurely.
- The umbilical cord is compressed.
Like all major surgery, it is necessary that you know the risks involved in caesarean section. Do not hesitate to discuss them openly with your doctor to clear up doubts and your fears:
- Hemorrhage or excessive bleeding
- Bladder or bowel injuries
- Infection in the uterus
- Infection in the urinary tract with difficulty urinating
- Blood clots
- Reactions to medications
- Damage to the baby
- Constipation or delay of bowel function
- Wound infection
- Higher risk in future pregnancies
It is important to mention that the cesarean can be done by regional (from the waist down) or general anesthesia. In any case, anesthesia can also affect the baby. Sometimes, babies born by caesarean section may have some respiratory complications because they did not have labor that stimulates the removal of fluid from the lungs.
In the event that the cesarean is emergency, the risks are less than the benefits, since it saves the life of the baby and the mother. In addition, millions of caesarean sections are made around the world daily and most babies and mothers have positive results.
Every woman, every pregnancy and every birth is different. They are also the doctor’s criteria and your ideas about childbirth. That is why you must make an informed decision taking into account your health, your baby’s and, of course, the doctor’s recommendations.