Are you afraid of having a cesarean rather than a natural birth?
Do you want to know if you can have a natural birth after a cesarean section?
Or simply do you want to know what it feels like, if it hurts and how to be prepared?
A cesarean is a surgical procedure and is performed using epidural block or general anesthesia. An incision is done in your abdomen in order for your baby to be born. It sounds easy, isn’t it? It is, but it is still a surgery with all the medical care required during and afterwards.
A C-section delivery may be scheduled in advance or may be indispensable in the last minute during childbirth.
When is a C-section delivery required in the last minute of childbirth?
One of the most common reasons to perform a cesarean in the last minute is when the dilation of the cervix is taking a long time and your baby could be suffering during that period. The variations of your baby’s heart rate are monitored in order to know if he/she is in a risky situation.
The intervention is also needed if your baby’s head is too big for your pelvis (although the cervix is fully dilated and contractions are effective).
When a cesarean section has to be scheduled?
In the following cases, the need for a cesarean may be scheduled during the 8th or 9th month of pregnancy:
- When the uterus is injured due to the removal of certain fibroids, the scar may be opened due to contractions.
- When your baby’s head (which can be measured by ultrasound) is higher than your pelvis (which can be measured by radio-pelvimetry).
- When your baby is positioned transversal or breech. However if it is positioned breech, your doctor may try a natural childbirth, but in order to prevent you from suffering, your doctor may perform a systematic episiotomy (a surgical incision in the floor of the pelvis).
- When your baby has not grown enough and is too fragile to be born naturally. In this case a C-section delivery is practically needed to help your baby to be born and may be placed in an incubator.
- When you have a placenta previa which does not allow your baby to move through the pelvis. You may have a risk of bleeding.
- When there is a multiple pregnancy (triplets or quadruplets). In case of twins, cesarean section may be required if the first twin is in breech position, or if the uterus has a scar.
- When in late pregnancy you have herpes outbreaks. In this case is recommended a cesarean section to prevent your baby from having contact with infected genitals.
- The doctor may perform a c-section delivery if you have any health problems like hypertension, heart disease, or certain eye defects. In such cases a caesarean is not always needed because the doctor can use forceps to facilitate the expulsion.
Are there any cesarean risks?
A cesarean is a safe procedure. However, it is a surgery that should not be taken lightly.
There are a number of cesarean risks although the rate of serious complications is very low.
For future pregnancies it may cause:
- Ectopic pregnancy due to scar tissue.
- Uterine rupture, associated with VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) attempts.
- Placental problems.
Some experts say that babies born by C-section delivery are three times as likely to experience respiratory complications.
My own experience with C-section delivery
Unfortunately I had a cesarean. My childbirth was scheduled because my baby was very large and I had no cervical dilation in my last week of gestation.
I got to the hospital at 9 am the day of my scheduled childbirth, a nurse took me to a room and she applied me an injection to induce labor. I waited for about 5 hours and the nurse said that the dilation of the cervix was not enough. When my gynecologist arrived at the hospital, she said that my baby was suffering and she decided to perform a C-section.
During the surgery I had no pain because the doctor applied an epidural block which is an anesthesia that allows you to stay awake and also provide effective pain relief during cesarean section recovery.
I was very disappointed because I wanted a vaginal birth, I always dreamed to have my baby naturally.
The cesarean section recovery isn’t a walk in the park, in spite of having applied the epidural anesthesia. The surgery does not allow you to get up and try to walk around the same day. The time for recovery is higher than a natural childbirth.
If you already had a cesarean section before, it is not by default another cesarean section in your second birth.
Read some recommendations about: natural ways to induce labor.
Read also advantages and disadvantages of a vaginal birth.