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Pregnancy and birthing is a process that can get complicated for a few women. C-section is conducted in cases where the mother has placental problems and so opting for a vaginal birth can cause heavy bleeding during delivery. C-section is also suggested if there is an infection such as genital herpes or HIV.
Also referred to as C-section, Caesarian birth is a surgical procedure to deliver a child. There could be various reasons why your doctor might suggest a C-section delivery. In certain cases, a C-section delivery appears to be safer than a vaginal delivery. Certain complications might make vaginal birth unsafe for you and your baby. Read on to know the reasons why a C-section is usually done and recommended.
- High Blood Pressure/Preeclampsia
- Gestational Diabetes
- No Progress In Labour
- Foetal Distress
- Abnormal Positioning Of Baby
- Uterine Tears
- Cephalopelvic Disproportion
- Carrying Twins Or Multiples
- Cord Prolapse
• High Blood Pressure/Preeclampsia
If you have high blood pressure during pregnancy, there is a high chance of you having to delivery through a C-section. You might have been put on blood pressure medication during pregnancy. If you have preeclampsia, the stressful process of vaginal delivery can affect the baby negatively. If normal delivery is attempted when you have high blood pressure then there could be issues, such as impairment of oxygen and blood flow. There could be placental abruption as well.
• Gestational Diabetes
In cases of gestational diabetes, the baby is usually bigger than normal which makes vaginal delivery a tough choice. When gestational diabetes is detected during pregnancy, the presence of extra glucose in your bloodstream reaches the placenta, triggering the baby's pancreas to produce more insulin. This makes the baby large - a condition also referred to as macrosomia.
• No Progress In Labour
Prolonged labour or failure to progress in labour could be associated with factors such as depression or stress. There are a few pain medications too that can weaken the contractions. The slow effacement of your cervix could result in longer labour. In such cases, your doctor would proceed with a C-section with your approval.
• Foetal Distress
Foetal distress is an emergency situation where C-section is the best choice. During foetal distress, the baby is deprived of oxygen (also called birth asphyxia). This results in changes in the heart rate of the baby. The foetal movement also reduces and there could be abnormal substances in the amniotic fluid. The baby needs to be delivered at the earliest in such scenarios.
• Abnormal Positioning Of Baby
Certain abnormal positions of the baby in the womb could cause medical issues when vaginal delivery is tried. Such situations are better handled with a C-section. Abnormal foetal presentation could result in birth injuries if not delivered in the correct manner. It could also lead to conditions such as birth asphyxia.
• Uterine Tears
One of the rarest but most complicated childbirth complications is a uterine tear. Uterine rupture can take place when a vaginal delivery is tried. The mother's uterus tears apart causing the baby to fall into her abdomen. This might cause severe bleeding in the mother. The baby could also get suffocated. If you have had a previous delivery via C-section then the chance of uterine rupture increases.
• Cephalopelvic Disproportion
This condition usually occurs when the baby is large. The primary cause of the baby being overweight is gestational diabetes. Such babies usually have a weight of around 4.5 Kg. They are seen to be larger than the gestational age. Hydrocephalus, i.e., when swelling occurs due to fluid in the baby's brain, can also result in a large baby. When the baby's head or body is too big to fit through the mother's pelvis, then a C-section is the choicest mode of delivery.
• Carrying Twins Or Multiples
Sometimes carrying multiples can be termed as a high-risk pregnancy. The mother might also be put on complete bed rest for the entire duration of pregnancy. Such babies are usually delivered via C-section. Extra prenatal care is also required when one is pregnant with twins or multiples.
The most common complication that arises in such pregnancies is that of preterm labour. Premature babies are those who are born before 37 weeks of pregnancy. Such babies can be safely delivered via C-section as they wouldn't be strong enough to go through the trauma of a vaginal birth. Such babies also need to receive extensive neonatal care.
• Cord Prolapse
This is an emergency situation where C-section is the choicest mode for the safe birthing of the baby. A prolapsed umbilical cord indicates a situation that an immediate delivery of the baby is required. If immediate medical aid is not provided, then it could result in umbilical cord compression. When the membranes that retain the amniotic fluid rupture prematurely, it results in the prolapse of the umbilical cord.
In general, it is believed that if you have had previous deliveries via a C-section then your following pregnancies would also require a C-section delivery. However, several renowned and experienced doctors do not go by this logic; instead, they encourage vaginal delivery post a C-section in case the mother and baby are healthy throughout the pregnancy term.
Also, if the baby is full-term and has the required average birth weight, then a vaginal delivery can be opted for. However, it is always wise to seek medical advice and follow your doctor's suggestion as you surely wouldn't want to risk your and your baby's life.