Because the body goes through so much changes, pregnancy and childbirth can sometimes be less predictable as we might hope. Having to undergo an emergency Cesarean section (C-section) as a result of complications that occur during labour is one of the things that might catch you off guard. For some though, a C-section could be planned and scheduled ahead in a situation were the mother or the baby have conditions that make vaginal delivery unsafe.
A Cesarean section, or c-section, is delivering a baby by making an incision through the mother's abdomen and uterus. This procedure is done when doctors decide that it is a safer way to deliver the baby than a vaginal delivery.
Why you might need a C-Section
There are a number of reasons why your doctor might decide that a C-section is a safer way to deliver the baby than a vaginal delivery. They include:
1. Abnormal fetal heart rate. The normal range of a full-term baby's heart rate is between 110 beats and 160beats per minute (bpm). If the fetal heart rate shows there may be a problem and doesn't improve in good time, a doctor may suggest a c-section
2. Abnormal fetal position. When the baby isn't in the right position during labour, it makes vaginal delivery difficult.
3. Problems with labor. Labor that fails to progress or doesn't progress the way it should.
4. Size of the baby: When the baby appears to be too big to fit through the birth canal.
5. Placenta problems. These may include:
* Placenta Previa - A condition were the placenta blocks the cervix. In a normal situation, because the placenta provides your baby with oxygen and nutrients for proper development, it is normally attached to the upper part of the uterus. when a mother experiences Placenta Previa, it either totally or partially covers the opening between the uterus and vagina (cervix)
* Abruptio placentae - This can be simply described as the premature partial or complete separation of the placenta from the inner wall of the uterus before delivery.
6. Certain conditions in the mother, such as:
* Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) - is a type of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy. One of the biggest risks of gestational diabetes is that your baby may grow much larger than normal. As a result, the baby may be thought to be too big for a safe vaginal delivery
* Preeclampsia - This condition typically happens during pregnancy, Preeclampsia causes dangerously high blood pressure and protein in the urine. It can be life-threatening if left untreated. The condition usually happens after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
* HIV infection - A planned and scheduled C-section is recommended for infected mothers to prevent mother-to-child transmission.
7. Active herpes sores in the mother’s vagina or cervix
8. Twins or other multiples
9. Previous C-section
Births through c-sections are actually more frequent than most people know. According to a 2017 Consumer Reports study, about 1 in 3 American babies are born via cesarean. It is safe when carried out by a professional but because it is a surgery, it might take longer to heal properly.