Is It Safe To Have A C-Section?

Is It Safe To Have A C-Section?

This surgery may be planned in case a patient develops pregnancy complications or if she has had a caesarean previously and is not willing for Vaginal Birth after Caesarean (VBAC)

The C-section procedure is an abdominal surgery to deliver a baby that poses greater risks and complications as compared to a vaginal delivery. However, since the last two decades, there has been a rise in the number of caesarean cases. But before a decision is take for a C-section, it is very important that the side effects be known, for a better understanding of the procedure, as it is a major surgery.

Like any other surgical procedure, a C-section too is also associated with some side effects and complications. This surgery may be planned in case a patient develops pregnancy complications or if she has had a caesarean previously and is not willing for Vaginal Birth after Caesarean (VBAC) or due to any absolute indication for a caesarean delivery.

Why Caesarean Delivery?

Sometimes, a C-section may be safer for the mother and the baby, therefore the obstetrician recommends this procedure. The reasons for this decision may be due to the following:

  • The labour is not progressing according to recommended norms
  • The baby is getting distressed or not getting enough oxygen in due course of the labour
  • The baby is not in a correct position for vaginal delivery such as breech, transverse or oblique lie
  • If it’s a multiple pregnancy (more than one)
  • If the patient has an associated medical disorder or health concerns like complex heart issues, hypertension, genital herpes etc
  • If the mother-to-be has previously undergone a caesarean procedure, Though VBAC is also an option, but the obstetrician will decide about this, depending on factors such as the type of incision, the site of the incision and also some other factors

Risks And Complications

It can occur in the area of the incision or inflammation of the endometrial lining, resulting in endometritis. The result may be foul smelling discharge and pain

Blood Loss
The patient is likely to lose more blood as compared to a vaginal delivery

Anaesthesia Complications
Adverse reactions to any type of anaesthesia are possible, but most commonly after spinal anaesthesia, spinal headache may occur

Blood Clots
The chances of developing blood clots due to immobilization is more with a C-section compared to a vaginal delivery

Surgical Injury
This may occur to the organs in the body, such as the bladder or bowels. However, this is more common in cases of multiple previous caesareans and abdominal surgeries

Increased Risk During Future Pregnancies
More complicated pregnancies due to placenta abnormalities may take place due to previous caesarean procedures. Also there are more chances of rupture in future vaginal deliveries (VBAC) due to previous caesarean surgeries

Extended Hospital Stay
The stay in the hospital needs to be extended, if a caesarean procedure is conducted. This accounts for a minimum of three days, compared to one day for a vaginal delivery

Emotional Complications
Some women may have a negative birthing experience post a caesarean surgery and may even find it difficult to bond well with the baby

Possible Complications In The New-born

Breathing Problems
When the delivery is through a caesarean procedure, the baby may have more chances of developing a breathing difficulty and respiratory issues, as compared to a baby born through a vaginal delivery

Low APGAR Scores
This may be due to foetal distress, anaesthesia drugs, or less stimulation at the time of delivery. In a natural birth, the baby gets natural stimulation at the back and by there is compression of the lungs while coming out of the birth canal. Therefore, babies born by caesarean are 50 per cent more likely to have low Apgar scores

Foetal Injury
This is a very rare occurrence, but this is the case whereby the baby may get an injury or a nick due to the blade used for the incision

If the obstetrician has suggested caesarean in an emergency condition and it’s going to be a lifesaving method for the mother or baby, the doctor’s advice should be followed. However, if it’s not an emergency, all the possible options and risks of a caesarean and how it can impact the baby’s health can be discussed in detail.

  • One should know why a caesarean procedure is recommended
  • The procedure and the after care of the procedure needs to be understood as well. Therefore, one can also ask certain things like when movement will be possible again, how soon can the baby be held and when can breastfeeding start

Long-term Risks Of A C-Section

  • The risk of breaking open of the uterine incision during a future vaginal birth (VBAC) or uterine rupture, although the risk is very low
  • More chances of having placenta praevia in the next pregnancy, where the placenta grows much lower down and blocks the passage, posing a threat for bleeding in the antenatal period and also during delivery

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