Reasons For A Cesarean Section – By Request Or Unavoidable?
Natural and without complications – that’s how all women want their birth to be. However, sometimes the baby has to be delivered by cesarean section, either planned or unplanned.
What are the reasons for a C-section? Am I allowed to decide this myself?
Compelling Reasons For A Cesarean Section
So-called Absolute Indications Make A C-section Unavoidable:
- A child position that would make a natural birth impossible (for example, a transverse position).
- When the baby’s head does not fit through the mother’s pelvis.
- An impending uterine rupture.
- A placenta that lies in front of the cervix, blocking the birth canal.
- A prolapsed umbilical cord.
- An infection of the egg cavity.
In this case, it is possible to determine before the birth that the child will be delivered by cesarean section.
However, under certain conditions, unexpected complications may arise during the birth that requires an immediate end to the natural birth process.
The rate of absolute indicators in cesarean sections is relatively low in Germany. One speaks here of about ten percent.
In most cases, the operation is performed on the basis of relative indicators, which means that there are not necessarily compelling medical reasons for a cesarean section.
Non-compelling Reasons For A Cesarean Section
These are referred to as relative indicators. Although these are considered risk factors that could lead to possible complications during a vaginal birth, this does not necessarily happen.
- A breech presentation of the baby – the baby is not head first but butt first in the uterus.
- The birth of multiples.
- A previous cesarean section.
- Birth arrest.
- Abnormal heart sounds of the child during birth.
- Exhaustion of the mother.
- A greatly prolonged birth.
In these cases, we will discuss with you which procedure – vaginal birth or a cesarean section – offers the greatest safety for you and your child.
Planned Cesarean Section
More and more expectant mothers are opting for a planned C-section.
Reasons for this include the fact that women can prepare for it first. They hope for a more relaxed delivery with fewer complications.
However, if the date is planned too early, this can be dangerous for the baby.
Most often, the date for the upcoming cesarean section is scheduled about two or even several weeks before the expected day of birth, but what are the reasons for this?
Sometimes there are medical reasons, sometimes it is simply due to the planning of the clinic.
Because the more the distance to the calculated date of birth increases, the risk of sudden onset of labor decreases. The woman would therefore have to undergo spontaneous surgery, and the organization of the maternity wards would be upset.
Unplanned Cesarean Section
An unplanned cesarean section usually arises from a critical birth situation.
The birth has already begun, but it cannot continue smoothly without posing a danger to the mother and baby.
For example, if there is a birth arrest, the baby’s heart tones deteriorate or the mother suddenly suffers from high blood pressure, a “normal” vaginal birth can no longer take place.
Although an unplanned cesarean section can initially cause fear or panic in the expectant mother, this is a routine operation, especially today, and you do not have to fear for yourself and your baby.
Cesarean Section On Demand, Is It possible?
Since a vaginal birth is often associated with high levels of pain and possible complications, it is completely understandable if you prefer to consider a C-section for personal reasons.
However, as long as there are no medical reasons, you will have to pay for this yourself. The health insurance only covers such interventions if they are unavoidable and would endanger the well-being of mother and child.
However, the rate of elective cesarean sections is relatively low. It is only about two to four percent.
One reason for this could be the financial aspect. In addition, expectant mothers often have to justify this decision because they are accused of convenience.
In fact, however, medical reasons are usually the case that leads to this decision.
Reasons For A Cesarean Section – What Risks Should I Expect?
What Risks Can I Expect?
First of all, a C-section is now a routine operation.
However, as with any surgery, there may be possible complications, here are some risks:
Risk Of Infection
As with all surgeries, there is a risk of infection. This can lead to fever during the postpartum period. To counteract this, antibiotics are already administered during the operation.
Injuries and fine tears to the bladder, intestines, or blood vessels may occur. Possible consequences are scarring or adhesions.
Wound Healing Problems
If the wound sutures heal poorly, this can cause pain or later form an aesthetically disturbing scar. In some women, the scar becomes noticeable, for example, when the weather changes.
Complications Due To Anesthetics
If you suffer from an allergy to the anesthetic, nausea or skin rashes may occur. However, general anesthesia is rarely necessary.
Risk Of Thrombosis
As with any surgery, there is a risk that blood clots may form. These are caused by unavoidable injuries and subsequent bed rest.
So the sooner you can move again, the lower the risk of thrombosis.
What Risks Can My Baby Expect?
The risks of a cesarean section are relatively low compared to those affecting the mother.
However, the following difficulties may occur:
Problems With Breathing
Breathing problems are more common with C-sections than vaginal births because there is still a small amount of fluid in the lungs.
Children whose mothers have had general anesthesia occasionally react with sleepiness. However, this can happen even during natural birth.
Reasons For Cesarean Section – How Can I Imagine The Procedure?
Various types of anesthesia are available for the operation, although general anesthesia is very rarely performed.
Most often, the anesthesia methods spinal anesthesia or peridural anesthesia are used. In this case, you are fully conscious. You will feel pressure sensations, but no pain.
In this way, you also avoid the risks of a general anesthetic.
As soon as the anesthetic takes effect, an incision is made above the pubic hairline and the abdominal wall is opened step by step.
After the uterus is also opened, the baby is carefully lifted out.
After that, the uterus and the individual abdominal layers are carefully sutured again.
Does A C-section Have Possible Effects On Further Pregnancies And Births?
As you already know, a cesarean section can entail risks related to the operation.
In addition, a C-section can also have consequences for other pregnancies and births.
According to this, the opening of the uterus, as well as the following scarring can be a risk.
In the rarest of cases, the uterus may rupture during childbirth, which is also referred to as uterine rupture.
The widespread opinion that “once a C-section – always a C-section” is wrong. A woman can still give birth normally after a cesarean section.
Possible Psychological Consequences Of A Cesarean Section
In addition to the physical stress caused by the operation, women can suffer from not having experienced a “normal” birth.
In addition, the fear for the child, the unexpected operation, or surprising complications can put a psychological strain on mothers and fathers.
As long as labor has not yet taken place, the body and soul are not really ready for birth.
The birth experience is therefore missing. As well as the experience and the own experience of having brought a child into the world.
If you notice that you or your partner are not feeling well psychologically after the birth, you can consult a prenatal psychologist.
The Most Important Things At A Glance
- A cesarean section is advisable if a normal birth could put you or your child in danger.
- The procedure is one of the routine operations.
- After a cesarean section you can continue to give birth normally, in the rarest cases this is not possible.
- The procedure may have psychological consequences for you and your partner; prenatal psychologists are the best people to talk to.
- Risks for you and your child may arise, but they are relatively small and in principle pose little danger to life.
- There are compelling as well as non- compelling reasons for a caesarean section. It is best to consult your doctor.
- Cesarean sections on request are not a problem, but you have to pay for the procedure yourself.