All Your C Section Questions Answered
Natural birth and having a cesarean section (C-Section) are the two ways in which most pregnant women bring their child to this world. There’s a medical procedure involved with both, though the natural birth option is rather less invasive. While the C-section procedure involves surgery, it is a simple procedure and doesn’t normally pose any threat to the mother or the child.
Still, every medical procedure involves foreign materials and be it a natural birth or a C-section, you should be aware of what your body will and will not react to and what to be mindful of. A C-section involves making an incision in the mother’s abdomen and another in the uterus to get the baby out. While being an easy procedure, doctors still advise mothers to opt for the natural birth option.
If you are absolutely sure that a C-section is the way you want your baby to come into the world, you need to interact with your doctor/gynaecologist about your body condition and how to handle any complications that might arise after the surgery. If you are still pondering over the option of considering a C-section but are skeptical about asking the questions you need the answer to, we have tried to answer a list of comprehensive questions here. Feel free to ask us or our community if you have any more!
Q. Under what circumstances is a C-section absolutely necessary?
There are many reasons why your doctor would suggest a C-section for you and you need to understand that each of these situations are quite discrete from the other. Common reasons why a C-section is suggested include the following:
a) Placenta covering the cervix where the baby can exit the uterus
b) When the baby is not in an upright position, i.e., head down
c) When the baby can’t tolerate the labor or has other problems within the placenta
d) If the baby is too big to pass through the cervix
e) If there are more than two babies like triplets or quadruplets
Q. Does the surgery have any kind of complication?
C-section surgery by itself doesn’t have any known complications. The complications that do happen are normally related to the medicines used, the patient’s clinical history.
Q. What kind of complications could possibly happen?
The common types of complications that could arise differ from patient to patient. The following are a list of known complications that could happen. You would need to consult your doctor first if any of the following could happen with you and the hospital’s policy about the same.
a) Fever or infection after surgery
b) Excessive blood loss
c) Injury to organs
d) Blood clots
e) Reaction to medication or anesthesia
f) Difficulty with future deliveries
g) Harm to the baby
Q. What are the common risks associated with the procedure?
As with every surgery, there are certain risks also associated with C-section procedures. Some of these include the following. For anything specific about your own health condition or the health of your baby, your doctor can tell you in detail.
a) Obesity of the mother
b) Large infant size
c) Long duration of labor or surgery
d) More than one baby
e) Low blood cell count for the mother
f) Premature labor
g) Using epidurals
h) Inactivity from the mother
Q. Would there be any emotional issues to deal with?
The human body is one the most complex machines around and certain functions within the body trigger certain moods and mental situations. Pain, pleasure, joy, sorrow, love, hate and other different emotions come into play when certain stimuli is received by the body. While pregnancy is a series of pain and pleasure moments, giving birth to a child naturally has a certain intimacy when it comes to the mother. Some expecting mothers might not enjoy the same satisfaction when they get their child through a C-section. In such situations, it is imperative that you have a person near you who understands your mental state and offers you much needed support, should you need it.
Q. Who can be in the operating room with you?
In cases of C-Section, the rules that hospitals have might vary. Some might allow up to two people, including you husband into the operation room while some stringent hospitals might require the procedure to be done with only the required doctors and nurses present. Your husband or any other family member might have to wait in the nursery. After the birth of the baby, depending on if he/she is prematurely born, your husband may or may not be allowed to hold the baby as per your doctor’s instructions. You can clarify such doubts with your doctor beforehand.
Q. What kind of anesthesia will be used?
There are two types of anesthesia that can be used. An epidural or a spinal block. An epidural involves a catheter that is placed in your back and can provide doses of anesthesia as and when needed. A spinal block is a one-time injection that can take effect much faster but can wear down in a few hours. Most doctors will present you with a choice and according to medical professionals, it is better to go with an epidural. That reduces any pain and complications post-surgery by a long shot.
Q. How long is the procedure and recovery time?
The C-section procedure can take up to 45 minutes to an hour but your doctor can ask you to be present many hours before if it is going to be a planned surgery. Most women are released from the hospital in around 3-4 days after the surgery with about 2-3 weeks of advised limited movement. It could take a total of 6 weeks before the mother can feel absolutely normal again.
Q. Is the process same for everyone?
C-section procedure is the same for everyone, differing only by the kind of incision that is made (low transverse, classical and low vertical) and the anesthesia used. Post-surgery medication will vary from patient to patient.
Q. How is the wound going to be stitched?
The doctor can seal the wound by use of dissolvable stitches or staples depending on your skin type and sensitivity. These will be removed when you are released from the hospital.
Q. When will breastfeeding be possible, and how can it be made easy?
Compared to natural birth, women who have given birth through a C-section might experience problems when starting to breastfeed. It is important to let your doctor know that you are looking forward to and are committed to breastfeeding and the hospital will provide ways and means through which the entire process can be made easy.