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What is a Cesarean Section?

When a baby is delivered through an incision in the mother’s abdomen and uterus. A c-section can be planned or it might be necessary at the time of birth as a result of a complication.

What Complications Would Lead To Having An Emergency C-Section?

There are quite a few reasons that would lead to your doctor deciding on an unplanned c-section. These might be:

  • That your baby’s heart rate changes.
  • A prolapsed cord (The umbilical cord slipping through the cervix and hence the baby’s oxygen supply is cut off)
  • Placental Abruption (The placenta separates from the uterine wall and hence the baby’s oxygen supply is cut off)
  • To avoid an infection such as herpes (should an outbreak happen at this time)
  • The cervix ceases to dilate

Why Would You Have A Planned C-Section?

You might have a planned cesarean if:

  • You have had a cesarean before since the risk of a rupture in the uterus during normal delivery is higher.
  • You have had previous surgery on the uterus wall
  • You are pregnant with more than one baby
  • You are carrying an unusually large baby
  • Your baby has an abnormality such as malformation
  • You have an obstruction that makes vaginal delivery difficult
  • Your placenta is very low in the uterus (Placenta Prevail)
  • Your baby is in ‘breech’ (coming out bottom first or sideways)

What Happens During A C-Section?

The doctor will make a horizontal incision across your belly just above the pubic bone. The doctor will then continue carefully cutting through the tissue along the same line until he/she reaches the uterus wall. Your abdominal muscles will be moved to the side as this happens.

One final cut (low-transverse incision) will be made to open the uterus and the baby will be lifted out. The placenta will then have to be delivered and removed and you will be stitched back up each layer of tissue at a time.

At this time your baby will be examined by the pediatrician. The stitching process may take up to half an hour and whilst dissolvable stitches will be used inside, staples may be used on the outside layer of skin which will be removed up to a week later.

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What Can Go Wrong With A Cesarean Birth?

C-sections are an incredibly common procedure nowadays however complications do sometimes happen. Infections, bleeding, blood clots and affected bowels and bladder are common.

C-sections are not only for the health of the baby but also for the health of the mother. All factors should be discussed with your doctor before deciding on the best delivery route to take.

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