A caesarean section is a surgical intervention to deliver a baby through the abdomen rather than naturally and is sometimes performed as an emergency when labor and delivery are not straightforward or sometimes it is scheduled ahead of labor when the decision has been made that this is a preferred method of delivery for medical or personal reasons.
What Is a Caesarean Section?
A caesarean section, or C-section, is the delivery of a baby through a surgical incision in the mother’s abdomen and uterus. In certain circumstances, a C-section is scheduled in advance. In others, it’s done in response to an unforeseen complication.
According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about 33% of American women who gave birth in 2011 had a caesarean delivery. (The rate of caesarean section, in the United States, has risen to nearly 60% since 1996.).
C-section is performed by obstetricians and some family physicians. Although more and more women are choosing midwives to deliver their babies, midwives of any licensing degree cannot perform C-section procedure.
What Is the difference between a planned and an Emergency Caesarean Section?
A planned caesarean section is scheduled to take place before labor begins. Just over 40% of caesarean births in the UK are planned.
An emergency caesarean is unplanned, and can happen if:
Your doctor or midwife should explain why you may need a caesarean, and what will happen during the operation. They will also outline the risks of not having a caesarean, as well as the possible risks of the surgery.
You will be asked for your consent, which you have the right not to give. Before the surgery, you will need to change into a hospital gown, and remove all jewellery. If you have braces you will need to remove it before going into the C-section procedure.
Once in theatre you can expect:
What Are the Risks of Having a C-Section?
A C-section is a major abdominal surgery, so it is riskier than a vaginal delivery.
Potential C-section risks include:
In the case of emergency C-sections, the benefits usually far outweigh the risks. A C-section could save a mother’s life or the baby’s.
Recovery after a C-section takes longer than recovery from a vaginal birth. You can expect to spend around three to four days in the hospital, and at least four to six weeks at home before you feel you are back to normal.
For the first few days and even weeks, you might:
After all, you have gone through a major surgery to deliver the baby! It might not be the birth experience you have imagined, but you can finally meet your little one that you’ve been nurturing within for the entire gestational period.