A woman’s body is fully adapted to the process of childbirth. But sometimes, for one reason or another, natural birth can pose a threat to the health or even life of both the child and the mother. In such cases, operative delivery is performed. It is called a cesarean section or C-section birth.
What Is A C-Section Birth?
C-section birth is a surgical operation, in which the baby is taken out of the uterus of a pregnant woman through a cut in the abdomen. Now, this operation is quite common. According to the statistics, among every 6-8 women giving birth naturally, there is 1 woman who has to go through a c-section birth. At the same time, the risk of c-section birth is 12 times higher than that of natural birth. Cesarean section can be both planned (the operation is prescribed even during pregnancy), and emergency. An emergency operation is performed if complications arise in the process of natural delivery.
How Is C-Section Birth Operation Performed?
Cesarean section is major surgery, in which the abdominal wall and the uterus are cut in order to take the child out. It is performed under epidural anesthesia, which provides a partial loss of sensation in the parturient woman in the lower part of the body. Such anesthesia effectively relieves pain. According to the doctors’ assurance, it practically does not cause harm to the baby.
The main danger in conducting epidural anesthesia is collapse (a sharp fall in blood pressure). However, if there are competent specialists nearby, then this side effect is not dangerous.
There are many other horrors about the fact that improperly conducted epidural anesthesia can lead to paralysis of the lower limbs and so on. But doctors advise not to pay special attention to these stories. The main thing is to choose a highly experienced professional doctor.
The Details of C-Section Birth Operation
First, the abdominal wall is cut – either along the middle line, or transversely above the pubis. The second method is now used more often. It gives the best cosmetic effect and after such a cut there are fewer complications.
After the incision, the child is gently removed with the help of a forceps or a vacuum extractor. To reduce the risk of blood loss, agents for uterine contraction are injected into the uterine muscle. After a manual examination of the uterus and removal of the remnants of the fetal egg, the uterus is sewn up. Then stitches are placed on the peritoneum, abdominal muscles, and skin. To stop the bleeding after the operation ice is placed on the stomach for 1-2 hours.
During the first 24 hours after delivery, a woman should stay in a special postpartum ward. During this time, an anesthesiologist is taking care of her state.
After The C-Section Birth
On the first day after the operation, a woman can only drink water with lemon juice. Instead of food, nutrient solutions are injected intravenously with a dropper.
The next day, a mother can already drink chicken broth, fruit drinks without sugar, consume boiled meat scrolled through a meat grinder, porridge, and low-fat cottage cheese. A woman can return to the normal diet only on the fourth or fifth day.
It is better not to sit and move a lot during the first two to three days after the c -section birth. In addition, during the week you need to take care of the seam every day and change the bandage.
The woman is discharged from the maternity hospital in the absence of any complications on the seventh-tenth day after the c-section birth.
It is better to plan the next pregnancy in two years after the c-section birth. During this period, the body will have time to recover from a previous pregnancy and surgery.
Indications For C-Section Birth
Despite the fact that c-section birth is not a very complicated surgery, it still remains a surgery. When conducting a cesarean section, the risk to a woman’s health is 12 times higher than that of natural birth. Therefore, doctors should have good reasons concerning a woman’s health for performing the C-section birth operation. Only if natural delivery is impossible or dangerous for the life of the mother or the child, the obstetrician-gynecologist gives permission for the surgery. In addition, the consent of the woman is also mandatory for the performing of a C-section birth.
The decision on planned c-section birth is taken before the onset of labor if a woman has:
- Severe nearsightedness with changes in the fundus of the eye;
- Severe form of diabetes mellitus or Rhesus-conflict;
- A contracted pelvis through which the child cannot pass;
- Exacerbation of genital herpes and an increased risk of infection of the fetus during its passage through the birth canal;
- Severe late toxicosis;
- Malformations of the uterus and vagina;
- Two or more scars on the uterus after previous births with cesarean section;
- Wrong position of the fetus or placenta previa (it closes the cervix and prevents the child from getting out);
- Prolonged pregnancy.
Cesarean section in the process of childbirth (emergency) is most often performed when a woman cannot push the child out herself (even after stimulation with medicines). Also c-section birth takes place when there are signs of oxygen starvation of the fetus.
Advantages and Disadvantages of C-Section Birth
Advantages of C-Section Birth
The most important advantage of this operation is the birth of a baby in those cases when natural childbirth can lead to the death of a mother or the child. Therefore, if you have indisputable indications for conducting a cesarean section, then you cannot even talk about pluses and minuses. Simply do it. Your health and your child are the most important.
The second advantage of c-section birth is that the genitals remain in their original form. There are no ruptures or seams. This will undoubtedly allow avoiding a number of problems with sexual activity after birth. In addition, the possibility of rupture of the cervix, exacerbation of hemorrhoids, and lowering of the pelvic organs, in particular, the bladder, is excluded. In general, the genitourinary system remains unaffected.
Another undisputed plus of c-section birth is speed. It takes much less time than natural birth. Often women have to endure labor pains for several hours and wait until the birth canal opens completely. During cesarean section, this is not required. Usually, the planned operation is appointed for a time as close as possible to the expected date of delivery. The onset of labor is not of decisive importance.
Disadvantages of C-Section Birth
An important negative factor is the psychological state of the mother. After a natural birth, there may be postpartum depression, which will soon disappear with frequent contact with the baby. After a cesarean section, many women experience a sense of incorrectness and incompleteness of what is happening. What’s more, in the beginning, some women do not feel a connection with their children.
Restriction in physical activity. Sometimes women who have undergone c-section birth surgery have a very difficult time. They need to take care not only of the baby but also pay attention to the treatment of the wound. Restoration of the body after c-section birth is much more difficult and longer. In addition, in order to recover, a woman is restricted in many aspects.
After the operation, you will not be able to take the baby for a while, staying in the standing position, especially if the baby is heavy. So, during the first month, you will need constant help from relatives.
Physical stress, such as lifting heavy objects, sudden movements, as well as sexual relations, will have to be postponed for a long time. After the operation, you can still feel the abdominal pain and tightness of the seams. This will prevent an active lifestyle, including sexual life.
After healing the wound, a rather impressive scar remains on the abdomen. However, it will eventually become less noticeable.
General Condition Of The Body
Another important disadvantage, which plays not in favor of c-section birth, is the general condition of the body after the operation. Cesarean is performed solely under anesthesia (general anesthesia or epidural anesthesia). After the operation, you still have to depart from anesthesia.
Sometimes this process is accompanied by dizziness, nausea, and general weakness. Then, when there is no trace of anesthesia, you will feel pain in the operating wound. This pain might be worse than the sensations that accompany natural childbirth.
C-Section Birth: Pros And Cons For The Baby
Many people believe that c-section birth will relieve the baby of the pain and fear experienced during natural childbirth. This is far from true. The main problem of the operation is that the infant does not go through the process that would prepare them for the new conditions. Through the process that would adapt the respiratory and circulatory system, help to get used to the new temperature and environment.
Such a rapid appearance in the world may cause shock in a baby. As a consequence, a decrease in immunity and susceptibility to infectious diseases may take place. In addition, during the process of natural birth, amniotic fluid is gradually squeezed out of the chest of the baby. During c-section birth, this does not happen, which is fraught with serious complications, such as asphyxia or pneumonia.
Born in Belarus, 1985, a pedagogue and family psychologist, mother. Taking part in procedures of social adaptation of the foster children in new families. Since 2015 is a chief editor of the motherhow.com project, selecting the best and up-to-date material for those, who are planning, expecting, and already having babies.