[Updated: February 2018]
Caesarean, popularly known as C-section, is the surgical way of delivering a baby through a surgical cut in mother’s abdomen and uterus. In the past decade, the rate of c-section has skyrocketed in India. Many young mothers undergo C-section for a number of medical and other reasons.
As per the research, more than 1 in 4 women are likely to go through a cesarean delivery.
The natural vaginal delivery is considered a safer option; however, certain medical conditions make it necessary for a cesarean birth.
21 Reasons of C-section Delivery
In some case, your healthcare provider suggests you well in advance to deliver your child through the c-section procedure based on your medical conditions. Some c-sections occur in the emergency situations like fetal distress, placental abruption, umbilical cord problem.
Common Reasons for Scheduled C-section
#1 Caesarean History
If the mother has delivered through C-section in the past, opting for a vaginal delivery increases the risk of uterine rupture.
#2 Previous Trauma
If the mother has lost a baby during pregnancy or around labor, she will be too scared for a normal delivery.
#3 Large Baby
When the fetus is too huge, and it is difficult for the baby to pass through the vagina, a cesarean birth would be the best option for ensuring a safe delivery.
#4 Genital Herpes or HIV
The mother has open sores from active genital herpes around the date of the delivery, or she is suffering from an infection like HIV. While passing through the birth canal, the baby may catch the virus.
#5 Labour Progression Failure
During labor, if the cervix does not open wide enough for the baby to come out or the labor is very slow.
#6 Chronic Conditions
The mother suffers from chronic conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart disease. Vaginal delivery during such conditions may be dangerous for the mother. Besides, the chances of having a large baby are high in diabetic mothers.
#7 Baby’s Slow Growth
If baby’s development is slow or has stopped then doctor suggest to go for planned c-section delivery.
#8 More than One Baby
There are two or more babies in the mother’s womb. A normal delivery, in this case, increases the risk of the umbilical cords tangling.
Common Reasons for Emergency C-Section
#9 Fibroids or Pelvic Fracture
Mother has fibroids present around the mouth of the cervix or a displaced pelvic fracture. Any of these may act as an obstruction during a normal delivery.
If a mother is bleeding heavily during labor then she will need a cesarean delivery.
#11 Breech Position
During late pregnancy, the baby needs to change position so that the head comes out first. When the baby fails to do this and is in a position with his feet or hips at the bottom, it is known as breech presentation.
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#12 Baby Position
The baby is in a sideways position or keeps changing positions constantly.
#13 Meconium in the Womb
Meconium is the earliest stool of the baby. It the water breaks and meconium is found along with it, this means that the baby has defecated inside the womb. The feces will contaminate the amniotic liquid in which the baby floats. Also, if the baby inhales meconium, it may lead to respiratory or lung problems.
#14 Umbilical Cord Issues
The umbilical cord slips through the cervix and reduces the blood flow to the baby. In some cases, the umbilical cord may tangle around the baby, breaking and cutting off the oxygen supply.
#15 Placenta Previa
When the placenta is low-lying in the uterus and almost covers the cervix then its called placenta previa.According to a study, 0.5 percent pregnant women suffer from placenta praevia. Many times,
the placenta moves up to its position when an expecting woman takes proper care and rest. But if it doesn’t work until the last weeks of pregnancy then it is best to go for a c-section birth.
#16 Placental abruption
This is a condition when the placenta is separated from the uterine lining. This is known as placental abruption. Studies have shown that 1 % pregnant women suffer from placental abruption. This placental abruption issue leads to bleeding in the mother’s body, which consequently interferes with the oxygen supply to the baby.
This condition is characterized by high blood pressure in pregnant women. The blood flow through the placenta is low, reducing the transfer of oxygen to the baby. Severe cases of preeclampsia necessitate cesarean birth.
#18 Uterine Rupture
The uterus tears during pregnancy or while the mother is in labor. This could interfere with the baby’s oxygen supply and lead to hemorrhaging in the mother.
#19 Birth Defects
The baby has been detected with an abnormal heart rate, excess fluid in the brain, or some other birth defects. In such cases, a C-section helps to reduce further complications.
#20 Cephalopelvic Disproportion (Also known as CPD)
This condition is characterized when expecting mother’s pelvis is smaller and may obstruct the baby’s head to pass smoothly through the birth canal. This is also emergency condition, often diagnosed at the birth table.
#21 Delay in Dilation
In this condition, expecting mother cervix might not open enough for childbirth through vagina even after intense long hours of labor pain then it leads to the emergency c-section for well being of mother and the baby.
Even if there is no cesarean to be performed, expectant mothers tend to pressure out during their labor time.
The final decision rests with you and your family; however, a cesarean birth might become inevitable if you are facing any of the above. However, you should avoid going for a C-section if it is unnecessary.