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Everything You Need to Know About C-Section Deliveries

A Caesarian section delivery or c-section can either be planned or unplanned. Even if you had already laid out a specific birth plan, a lot of things can happen on D-Day, so it definitely helps to know about c-section deliveries. 

C-section deliveries are quite common. In fact, in the US alone, one in every three pregnancies results in c-section deliveries. Despite this, many are still uninformed about this lifesaving medical procedure. 

Elective vs. Emergency C-section 

A planned or elective c-section can be done for various reasons. These include medical reasons, like when the baby is in a breech position or when you have had a prior c-section delivery. Preferential reasons, like being able to choose when to give birth, are also considerable and legitimate. 

On the other hand, your doctor may recommend an elective c-section delivery for several medical reasons. These may include a prolonged and stressful labor, an unusual positioning of the baby, fetal distress, a chronic health condition, and more. In these cases, a Caesarian delivery helps prevent complications from arising.

Indeed, anything can happen during labor. For many women, a traditional vaginal delivery is the ideal, but as mentioned earlier, there are several reasons why a pregnancy might result in an emergency c-section delivery. 

Whether or not you are considering it as an option, it helps to be prepared. Here's everything you need to know about c-section deliveries. 

The C-section Procedure

A c-section delivery involves a surgical procedure wherein an incision is made on the mother’s abdominal wall and uterus to deliver the baby. 

There are two types of incisions that can be done on your abdomen. One is the vertical incision which is made between your navel and the area where your pubic hair starts. The second is the horizontal incision, which is made on the lower part of your abdomen. While many women prefer a horizontal incision, doctors often prefer to make a vertical incision in emergency cases.

Under the abdominal incision, another incision is made on the uterus. There are three types of incisions. The first one is the low transverse incision, which is the most common. The second one is the low vertical incision, which is preferred when the baby is in a breech or in an unusual position. The third one is the classical incision, which is most ideal for preterm deliveries. 

C-section Delivery Side Effects

While c-sections are generally safe, as with any kind of surgery, there are always possible risks. Some of the risks that can happen after a c-section procedure include infections, bleeding, blood clots, and injuries. However, these are preventable and, in the case that they do occur, they are usually manageable.

Despite the possible c-section delivery side effects, it remains to be very beneficial especially in the case of emergency procedures. The benefits of this life-saving surgery far outweigh the risks.

C-section Recovery

One of the most well-known disadvantages of going through a c-section delivery is the longer recovery period. While a woman who has given birth via vaginal delivery can go home from the hospital after a day or two, a woman who has gone through a c-section procedure may have to stay for a few more days.

C-section recovery can be tricky because it involves the recuperation of both your physical and emotional well-being. 

Physically, as it is a major operation, a c-section procedure is physically taxing. To recover well, you need to avoid doing strenuous activities and avoid lifting heavy objects for the first few weeks. You need to rest as much as possible and you may also advised to avoid sex for a period of time.  You will also need to take care of your wound to prevent infections.

A surprising aspect of c-section recovery is the emotional aspect. Aside from the possibility of developing postpartum depression, which happens in both c-section and vaginal deliveries, some women feel guilty or disappointed that they weren’t able to give birth vaginally. It can be difficult to ignore these feelings — and it may take some time to go away — so you will need all the support that you can get.

C-section deliveries are lifesaving procedures. In many cases, the decision to go through an emergency c-section procedure has proved to be the best choice to save the life of both the mother and the baby. As with any other medical operation, there are risks involved, and for some women, c-section recovery can be difficult and complicated. However, the benefits of a c-section delivery far outweigh the involved risks.

Featured image by Jonathan Borba from Pexels
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