Everything You Need to Know about Cesarean Delivery

Dr. Hadley is telling you everything there is to know about the infamous C-section! When is it necessary? What should you consider when opting for cesarean delivery? The procedure, the risks and the advantages – read all about them right here!

With the development of technology, knowledge and expertise when it comes to this particular surgery, the number of C-sections done in the last 10 years is significantly higher than it was just a decade ago. Also, the change in the average years of mothers to be, rise in obesity of the population and similar health related issues are responsible for more and more woman opting to go for a Cesarean rather than ‘normal’ vaginal delivery.

And then, you have to count those who are simply befuddled and perplexed by the idea of pushing a three pound baby through a little hole in their bodies. Yes, these days, many women decide to go the other way just to avoid experiencing labor pains.

So, when all of these add up you get a pretty high number of C-section procedures done every year in the US alone! In fact, today, as many as one in three babies are born via Cesarean delivery.

Female Doctor and pregnant women

However, the opinions on the subject still vary, even within the medical community. On one hand you have the ones who are consistent in thinking that the mere fact that a Cesarean is a surgery is enough to try and avoid it if possible. On the other, you’ve got the one’s praising its advantages – especially in the cases where it is in fact the less risky option for giving birth.

The thing is there are some cases in which a C-section is simply recommended by the doctor whether you want it or not.

For instance, it’s considered to be the best option for heavier women (with BMI over 30). This is about plain logic – bigger ladies have bigger babies. Also, these women often have some weight related health issues, like high blood pressure, and it might be more difficult for them to push the baby out. This is why it’s best to go with Cesarean delivery to avoid the possible issues of vaginal delivery.

Then, it’d also be recommended for older mothers to choose a C-section. Again it’d be less risky than pushing the baby out, especially if they’ve undergone some sort of fertility treatment that may result in having twins, triplets etc.

Also, you might not have known this, but, most of the time when women go through with inducing labor with medications and other methods it results in having to have a C-section.

operation anesthesia

Finally, if you’ve already had a C-section it’s best you stick with it every other time you’re giving birth. It’s actually recently been concluded that the scars you have from the first Cesarean simply cannot hold in many cases and you might have to have an emergency C-section – so it’d be smart to really think through your options.

Then again having multiple C-sections isn’t completely safe either – there is a risk of the scar tissue hardening or the placenta implanting abnormally.

Other risks of a Cesarean delivery are related to the simple fact that it is after all a surgery – there can be infections, blood cloths, blood loss…

As for the pain every option has it’s advantages – with a C-section you go through delivery without it, but the recovery lasts for several weeks, with vaginal delivery you can’t avoid the pain of giving birth but the recovery period is significantly shorter – only a few days.

The conclusion is that there are cases where it’s pretty obvious a C-section would be the best choice, and in those cases your doctor will recommend it. If you don’t have any characteristics or health issues that would require you to take this direction the choice is yours.

The way to make the best choice is to have a good long talk with your doctor and really look at all the repercussions. Every pregnancy is different, and though this information is a great guideline, if you’re unsure it’s best you get advice from your own doctor, who’s well informed about your health.

About the author

Dr. Hadley

Dr. Hadley is YouQueen's resident gynecologist with over 25 years of experience as a specialist with her own practice. Feel free to ask her questions in the comments.

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