Do I really need a primary cesarean section for my firstborn?

The joy of becoming a parent starts with pregnancy. The thought of carrying your little one in your womb is a miracle in itself, and his coming into this world is a sacrifice that is worth every pain. There are essentially two ways to deliver a baby- through the natural method (vaginal delivery) or through surgery (primary cesarean section). What we observe is the rise in the percentage of mothers who deliver through primary cesarean section. Let us help you know and understand the causes and risks of undergoing cesarean delivery.

Types of cesarean delivery

There are two types of cesarean delivery based on urgency.

primary cesarean sectionEmergency c-section happens immediately after you or your baby showed signs that your life may be in danger. The heartbeat of the baby is constantly monitored because a change in its rhythm may indicate the need for immediate delivery. Fluctuations in the fetal heartbeat may mean fetal distress or umbilical cord prolapse (cord coil). Emergency c-section may also be indicated for maternal complications like hemorrhage, uterine rupture or tear, or when the placenta prematurely detaches from the uterus (abruption placenta). The emergency surgical procedure needs to be very fast so as to save the lives of the mother and child, so the doctor may perform the delivery in less than a minute.

Unscheduled c-section, on the other hand, happens urgently, but not as immediate as the emergency c-section. This type is performed when the labor period is not progressing or the contractions are too weak to push the baby out of the womb. It can also happen if during the whole pregnancy the baby is on the correct position but when labor starts, the fetal position changes to breech or transverse. It can also be the case for multiple pregnancies or if the fetal head is not proportioned to the pelvic brim.

Risks of cesarean delivery

While cesarean delivery can save you and your baby’s life, it can also pose some risks for you and your child. It is considered a surgical procedure, so major risks associated with it may include blood clot formation, bleeding, and adverse reaction to anesthesia. Primary cesarean section or any type of cesarean delivery can also pose a risk of infection and injury to bladder and uterus. It can also be a precedent of having cesarean delivery for your next pregnancies, although it is still possible to undergo vaginal delivery for your next pregnancy after delivery via cesarean section.

Cesarean delivery can also have negative effects on your newborn. Some babies born at 39 weeks show problems with airway and breathing after birth. This may be due to the fact that a baby’s lungs are still full of fluid that he or she expels through labor. But since the mother did not undergo labor to deliver the baby, the fluid gets trapped inside the lungs and may cause infection or other breathing issues. However, it was also stated that this fluid clears out in a day or two, so cleanliness and safety of the baby to avoid infection is a must.

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