These days, more moms-to-be have a choice to make about how they’ll deliver their babies. A vaginal delivery is often the preferred method for safety reasons, but more women are considering planned C-sections as an elective option.
A cesarean section is a surgical procedure that involves incisions made in your abdomen and uterus to remove the baby. This method of delivery is common when medical emergencies arise during labor, as it helps get the baby out much faster than a vaginal delivery. However, a C-section may be an option for you, even if your pregnancy isn’t considered high-risk.
To help you make a choice, it’s important to understand the reasons for a C-section.
Medical reasons for a C-section
The decision to deliver via C-section may be taken out of your hands if you experience complications during labor. These complications may include:
- Fetal distress: an emergency where your baby isn’t getting sufficient oxygen
- Breech birth: a situation where your baby isn’t positioned head-down in the birth canal
- Birth defects: congenital diseases, like fluid on the brain, can be complicated by a vaginal birth
- Cord prolapse: a condition where the umbilical cord moves into the cervix and cuts off blood flow to the baby
- Chronic health conditions: vaginal births for moms with high blood pressure or gestational diabetes can be dangerous
- Carrying multiple babies: carrying more than one baby can complicate labor and send mom or babies into distress
You may also need to deliver via C-section if your labor isn’t progressing as it should. Often, a C-section ultimately is requested if you’ve been in labor more than 20 hours for your first child, or more than 14 hours if you’ve previously given birth.
A C-section may also be your best option for delivering if you’ve had a C-section for previous pregnancies.
Elective reasons for a C-section
If you don’t have existing health issues that may require a C-section, you and Dr. Tajzoy can discuss planning a C-section as an elective procedure. You may opt for a C-section for reasons like:
More control over birth date
For some women, planning the day their baby is born is important for a variety of reasons, such as personal reasons for a certain birthday or to accommodate a busy family life.
Less risk of pelvic floor dysfunction
Vaginal birth can ultimately affect the functionality of your pelvic floor. With a C-section, you may reduce your risk for issues with incontinence and sexual dysfunction.
Reduced risk of oxygen deprivation
During a vaginal delivery, there’s always a risk for loss of oxygen for a baby as they travel through the birth canal. A C-section can reduce the risk for oxygen issues and trauma to the baby, especially if you have a small frame or are expected to deliver a large baby.
Other C-section considerations
Regardless of the reason for a C-section, like any surgical procedure there are risks involved such as:
- Blood clots
- Anesthesia complications
- Increased risk for infection
You should also expect a longer recovery period and a longer stay in the hospital following a C-section than you might with a vaginal delivery. A C-section also results in noticeable, long-term scars.
The best way to determine what’s best for you and your baby is to have an open and honest discussion with Dr. Tajzoy in the months leading up to your delivery date. He can suggest the best options for a safe, healthy delivery based on your specific health background and personal preferences.
Learn more about your delivery options by scheduling a consultation with Dr. Emil Tajzoy online or by phone.