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Factors leading to Cesarean Delivery

Sep 28, 2022

Vaginal delivery is the safest labor with a low-risk factor, but nowadays doctors preferring with cesarean deliveries more often. Cesarean delivery or C-section is a complicated procedure that causes health risks.

Why plan for C-section?

Cesarean deliveries are generally safe, however, they have more risks than vaginal delivery. Experts say doctors may suggest a C-section when required.

In case, if your baby is in a breech position, and unable to change its position as the due date approaches, then for medical reasons your doctor may plan for cesarean delivery. However, it is acceptable to opt for C-section unless you are in a healthy pregnancy condition.

Cesarean delivery or C-section is a major labor surgery, it includes a high risk of complications, including:

  • more blood loss
  • blood clots
  • allergic reaction to anesthesia
  • infections

Elective C-section

Delivery is performed by planning a schedule for non-medical reasons is called an elective C-section or cesarean delivery. Some women and their families prefer to deliver by surgery because they have the option to decide when their baby is to be born.

Benefits of elective C-section

Having an elective C-section may benefit with-

  • Labor pain ignorance
  • Less fear about vaginal birth
  • Know when baby can be born
  • Less risk of vaginal birth complications like oxygen requirement, prolapsed cords, and fetal heart rate abnormalities
  • Avoidance of trauma to mother’s body
  • Less urinary bladder and stool control

Risks of the elective c-section

  • Higher rate of death for mother
  • Longer recovery time
  • Increased bleeding
  • Infection
  • Increased risk of placenta previa
  • Repeat cesarean delivery for future pregnancies
  • Respiratory distress syndrome for the baby after delivery

Medical Reasons for C-section

Your doctor may schedule a C-section if requested either by you or your family. In other cases, it may be necessary without any option during labor considering your health or your baby’s medical condition.

Below are some of the common medical reasons for cesarean delivery-

Prolonged Labor

One of the major reasons for C-section delivery is prolonged labor, which is called “failure to progress” or “stalled labor”. It means when a pregnant woman is in labor for more than 20 hours or has labor pain for 14 hours and has given birth before.

If babies are over-weighted and too large, the process of your cervical effacement may get slow, hence your doctor may suggest C-section avoid further complications.

Abnormal Positioning

Your baby’s head should be placed into your birth canal as this position helps you for a successful vaginal delivery.

But babies can position their feet or butt towards the birth canal, which is known as a breech position. In this position, babies are not easy to deliver with a normal vaginal birth delivery. A C-section may be the safest and right choice of delivery in these cases.

Doctors may also recommend for C-section if you are pregnant with multiple babies.

Fetal Distress

If your baby is not receiving the required oxygen, your doctor may go for an emergency cesarean delivery.

Birth Defects

Doctors will choose C-sections to deliver babies if diagnosed with certain birth defects, like excess fluid in the brain or congenital heart diseases.

Repeat Cesarean

Repeat cesarean is possible for the next pregnancies. But still, there are chances of women having vaginal delivery after their C-section delivery birth. Experts say this is known as vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC).

The pregnant women may consult with their doctor to decide whether a VBAC or repeat cesarean is best and safe for their next pregnancies.

Chronic Health Condition

If a pregnant woman has any chronic health conditions like heart disease, hypertension, or pregnancy diabetes, the chance of cesarean delivery is safe, whereas vaginal delivery may cause many complications and danger to them.

Cord Prolapse

Cord prolapse is a condition in which the umbilical cord of the baby slips through the cervix before the baby drops into the birth canal. As the umbilical cord delivers blood from the placenta to the baby, the prolapsed cord gets compressed by the baby’s body and affects the baby’s oxygen supply.

In this condition, the longer the delay may increase the risk of complications such as placental abruption, excessive bleeding, fetal injuries, and stillbirth. Hence this condition requires an emergency cesarean delivery.

Placenta issues

Doctors may suggest cesarean delivery when the low-lying placenta covers the cervix, called placenta previa. Also, when the placenta separates from the uterine lining, causing the baby to lose oxygen, is called placenta abruption.

Multiple Babies

If a pregnant woman carries multiple babies, a cesarean is often the safest decision for delivery.



Related: What are the issues you may encounter on breastfeeding after a C-section?

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Can You Give Birth Vaginally After A C-Section?

Vaginal Birth After Cesarean, also called VBAC, is a condition when you have your baby birth by vaginal delivery after having your previous delivery by cesarean or C-section delivery.

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