|What If I Have A Cesarean Section?
Though most women want a natural, vaginal birth, some women and/or their babies are at risk birthing the old-fashioned way. In fact, one out of four babies is born via Cesarean section (C-section) and studies show the procedure is on the rise. Planned or not, the C-section may be the best choice to keep both mom and baby safe.
When is a C-section Necessary?
If you have health issues, the baby is considered high risk or is too large for your pelvis, presents breech, if the placenta is covering the cervix or if you’re having multiple babies you may be one of those that find a C-section a life-saving operation. You may also have to have a C-section if you’ve had a C-section before, depending on the location of the incision
There are many drawbacks to having a C-section because it’s major surgery. Not only will you have a longer recovery period, painful scar tissue buildup, risk of infection and blood clots, but you may find nursing your baby to be more difficult due to your tender stomach. You may need to consult someone proficient in breastfeeding to experiment with different positions if you’re determined to nurse after a C-section.
For your baby, the trip down the birth canal is actually beneficial. The squeezing of the vaginal muscles helps to force excess mucus out of the airways. Because C-section babies don’t experience this, they may be congested at birth. This congestion and build up of mucus can make breastfeeding harder in the beginning.
Ways To Avoid Having A C-section
You’ve heard of the horror stories—women that labored for hours, only to end up delivering by C-section. Though C-section is a must if you or your baby is in dire need, there are cases where the procedure could have been avoided. Here are a few ideas to keep in the back of your mind to raise the probability of having a vaginal birth.
- You can possibly avoid having a C-section if to stay home until your doctor tells you to go to the hospital. That means if you’re just started labor, wait until you reach the length of contraction/length of time between contractions to head out the door. Studies show that when a mother in labor arrives too early to the hospital, she’s more apt to have a C-section.
- Once you’re in the birthing room, ask your doctor if it would be safe for you and the baby to do intermittent monitoring instead of constant fetal monitoring. Usually, once you’re strapped to a fetal monitor your movement is limited. Intermittent monitoring means you’ll wear a device for monitoring, then remove it to move around as considered appropriate for the baby. Studies show that moving around, walking and changing positions can actually speed up the labor process and can help you avoid having a C-section.
If you do end up having a C-section to deliver your baby, know that it doesn’t make you any less of a woman, or a mom. Hopefully the end result is a happy, healthy baby, and that’s the most important part of giving birth either vaginally or by C-section.