One of the first and most important decisions any mother makes is the kind of delivery she plans on having – natural hospital birth, natural home birth or a caesarean section birth. In this article, we will briefly touch upon the most common reasons for a C-section.
Despite what you plan, nature sometimes has a way of catching you unawares and a mother-to-be might have to go in for an unplanned c-section delivery. There are a number of medical reasons why this might happen.
Let’s find out the most common reasons for a C-section below:
A number of factors can lead to labour not progressing – the cervix has not dilated completely, labor has slowed or stopped, or the baby is not in an optimal delivery position. This is usually diagnosed is in the second phase of labour (after 5 centimeters dilation) as the first phase of labor (0-4 centimeters dilation) typically progresses slowly.
The ideal birth position of a baby is head down. Sometimes, the baby lies in the breech position (his bottom or feet are facing down) or in a transverse position (his shoulder is facing down). In such cases, it is safe to perform a caesarean delivery.
Foetal distress is a rare complication of labor. When the baby does not get enough oxygen during delivery, it experiences distress requiring an emergency c-section to deliver the baby safely. Foetal distress could be because the pregnancy lasts too long or because of difficult labour.
Placenta Previa is a condition where the placenta lies low in the uterus and partially or completely covers the cervix. 1 in every 200 pregnant women experiences placenta previa during the third trimester. The doctor advises bed rest and frequent monitoring in case placenta previa is detected. Placenta Previa can be complete, partial or marginal. If a complete or partial placenta previa has been diagnosed, a cesarean is recommended. If a marginal placenta previa has been diagnosed, a vaginal delivery may be an option.
Uterine rupture is a serious medical condition which occurs during pregnancy or labour and requires immediate caesarean to be performed. This occurs when the uterus tears during pregnancy or labour which causes haemorrhaging in the mother and this, in turn, interferes with the baby’s oxygen supply. 1 in approximately 1,500 women experience this condition and this requires an emergency cesarean to be performed.
Also Read: 7 ways to treat C-section scars at home
Cord Prolapse is when the baby’s umbilical cord slips into the vagina where there are chances of it being squeezed or flattened during vaginal birth. The umbilical cord is the cord that connects your baby to the placenta. It carries food and oxygen from the placenta to the baby and it being squeezed could lessen the blood flow to the baby causing it extreme distress. Though rare, a cord prolapse is a serious condition that requires an emergency cesarean delivery.
Mothers-to-be suffering from chronic health conditions are suggested to have deliveries via caesarean section. The chronic conditions could be heart disease, high blood pressure, or gestational diabetes. Vaginal delivery with one of these conditions may be dangerous for the mother-to-be. If the mother-to-be has HIV, genital herpes, or any other infection that could be transferred to the baby through vaginal delivery ], caesarean section is performed.
This is a condition where the mother’s cervix is too small for the baby to pass through or the baby’s head is too large to pass through the birth canal which can lead to prolonged labour or foetal distress This is often diagnosed at the birth table and requires an immediate c-section to be performed.
Although it is possible for women who have had previous c-sections to have normal births, they still have a higher than normal chance of about 1 in 200 of having a c-section. This is because the scar from the previous c-section could tear leading to uterine rupture which would require an emergency caesarean section to be performed.
A C-section might be needed if you’re carrying twins and the leading baby is in an abnormal position. If you have triplets or more babies then the babies will be delivered via c-section.
Pregnancy and delivery can be unpredictable at times no matter what you plan. This is why it is best to keep the possibility of a caesarean section in mind and speak to your doctor in advance in case you need to go in for a caesarean delivery. Remember, it’s not the type of delivery you have but having a healthy baby that matters.
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