If it is a planned operation, you can ask for an epidural anesthesia from the doctor, so that you remain awake during the delivery period and can hold the baby immediately after birth. However, in a general anesthesia you make wake up feeling very groggy and disoriented.
Let the doctor decide on a general or epidural anesthesia if it is an emergency operation.
Some of the reasons for cesarean section:
Here are the reasons why you may have a planned or emergency caesarean, rather than a vaginal birth:
- History of one caesarean section.
- Baby is in a bottom-down, or breech, position.
- Baby is in a sideways (transverse) position, or keeps changing his position (unstable lie).
- You might be having low-lying placenta (placenta praevia).
- Medical condition like as heart disease or diabetes.
- You have lost a baby in the past, either before or during labor.
- You’re expecting twins or more.
- Your baby is not growing as well as he should be in your womb (uterus).
- You have severe pre-eclampsia or eclampsia, making it dangerous to delay the birth.
What is done:
- Your pubic hair is shaved
- A drip is put in your arm
- A tube is inserted in your bladder
- You will be given anesthesia
- A screen is set up between you and the surgeon in case of an epidural anesthesia
- Generally the cut is made horizontally just above the pubic hairline and is almost invisible on healing.
- The surgeon drains away the amniotic fluid
- The baby is lifted out, sometimes using forceps
- You get to hold the baby as the placenta is delivered
- The start of the surgery to birth takes about 5 minutes
- A further 20 minutes are spent on stitching you up
- You or your partner can hold the baby while the surgeon stitches you up.
After The Operation
- You will be asked to walk almost soon after birth
- The incision can be painful in the initial few days so ask for pain relief
- Don’t be scared that your moving around might open up the cut.
- Stand tall and cup your hands over the wound
- Two days after the operation begin gentle exercises. Ask your doctor to guide you
- You can have a bath once the dressing is removed
- If the stitches are soluble, they need not be removed, else they would be removed about five days after birth
- You will start feeling much better after about a week
- Don’t strain yourself for at least six weeks
- The scar usually fades in three to six months.
How to Breast Feed after a Caesarean Section
Put a few pillows beside you and support the baby over them. This way the baby will not be resting on your wound and you can breast feed him comfortably.
Risks and Complications for the Mother
According to the American pregnancy association some of the risk factors associated with cesarean are:
- Infection: It may occur due to the incision due to any kind of infection
- Hemorrhage or increased blood loss: There is more blood loss in a cesarean delivery than with a vaginal delivery. This can lead to anemia or a blood transfusion (1 to 6 women per 100 require a blood transfusion.
- Injury to organs: Possible injury to organs such as the bowel or bladder.
- Adhesions: Scar tissue may form inside the pelvic region causing blockage and pain. Adhesions can also lead to future pregnancy complications such as placenta previa or placental abruption
- Extended hospital stay: After a cesarean, the normal stay in the hospital is 3-5 days after the birth, if there are no complications.
- Extended recovery time: The amount of time needed for recovery after a cesarean can range from weeks to months. Extended recovery can have an impact on bonding time with your baby (1 in 14 report incisional pain six months or more after surgery4).
- Reactions to medications: There can be a negative reaction to the anesthesia given during a cesarean or negative reaction to pain medication given after the procedure.
- Risk of additional surgeries: Includes possible hysterectomy, bladder repair or another cesarean.
- Maternal mortality: The maternal mortality rate for a cesarean is higher than with a vaginal birth.
- Emotional reactions: Some women who have had a cesarean report feeling negatively about their birth experience and may have trouble with initial bonding with their baby5.
Risks and Complications for the Baby
- Premature birth: If gestational age was not calculated correctly, a baby delivered by cesarean could be delivered too early and have low birth weight.
- Breathing problems: When delivered by cesarean, a baby is more likely to have breathing and respiratory problems. Some studies show the existence of greater need for assistance with breathing and immediate care after a cesarean than with a vaginal delivery.
- Fetal injury: Very rarely, the baby may be nicked or cut during the incision (on average, 1 or 2 babies per 100 will be cut during the surgery.
Cesarean section is a normal procedure these days ask your doctor if you have any apprehensions regarding the same. Some of the above mentioned risks do not happen in all the cases and can be easily dealt with correct medical intervention.
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