Let’s talk Caesarean Section!
April is “Caesarean Section Awareness Month” in which focus is given to this procedure in light of the rising rates of babies born this way. The message is not to frown upon this way of giving birth because actually it is not the easy way out as some people think; instead it’s about spreading the understanding of the pros and cons so that you can make an informed decision if the time comes. Added to this is the message that just because you have one baby by Caesarean section doesn’t necessarily mean than any subsequent babies have to be born this way and so this month is also about promoting VBAC – vaginal birth after Caesarean.
As well as emergency situations some situations call for a Caesarean Section to be planned in advance, examples are:
- Placenta Previa (the placenta is covering the neck of the womb)
- Breech (although you can discuss and opt for vaginal depending on your circumstances)
- Previous Caesarean Section birth (Vbac not chosen or not an option)
- Multiple birth (although vaginal birth can be an option with twins depending on their positions)
Risks of the procedure are:
- Heavy bleeding and the possible need for a blood transfusion
- Damage to other organs (bowel/bladder/ureter)
- Fetal laceration (around 2%) (Yes your baby can get accidentally cut by the scalpel!)
It’s also worth knowing the knock on effects that can occur following a Caesarean Section birth:
- Planned procedures may increase the baby requiring neonatal unit admission for breathing problems
- Longer inpatient stay
- Wound infection/endometritis (Currently 18% of women experience wound infections)
- Delayed lactation and increased breastfeeding difficulties
- Postpartum haemorrhage which can lead to a hysterectomy
- Prolonged pain and discomfort and recovery from the surgery
However I also see this month as about celebrating those Mamas who have welcomed their babies into the World in this way; they often feel like failures and beat themselves up about it. And yet they may have endured long labours with great pain, stress and exhaustion to then encounter major abdominal surgery which takes months to recover from all whilst they’re expected to feed and care for their newborn! I take my hat off to them and we should give them a medal!
Thanks for reading
Jane – The Midwife
For more blogs on pregnancy, birth and life as a new mum please visit www.naturalbirthingcompany.com/blogs/news
If you are unsure about anything or have any concerns whilst pregnant please speak to your Midwife.