10 reasons why you could have a Caesarean section
Caesarean section, also known as C-section or CS is the use of surgery to deliver one or more babies. C-section is often done when vaginal delivery will put the mother or baby or both at risk.
Types of Caeserean section
There are different classifications of Caeserean Section. C-section could be classified based on
• Timing of the Caeserean section; Emergency CS is done when inducing or continuing labour will be harmful, CS should be performed within minutes to hours. Scheduled CS is a form of planned CS. C-section is usually performed within days to weeks. Elective CS is usually planned several months ahead.
• Reason for the C-section; whether there are no other options for delivery except c-section (absolute) or if other options could be considered (relative).
• Cause for the Caeserean section; whether the cause is from the mother, child (fetal) or both.
• How the Caeserean section is done; Classical CS involves a vertical incision on the uterus (womb). Lower segment CS involves a transverse incision on the lower segment of the uterus.
Reasons for Caeserean section
Below is a list of 10 common reasons why caesarean section is performed.
1) Obstructed labour: occurs when a baby stops moving through the birth canal. This may be because the baby’s head is too big or the mother’s birth canal is too small.
2) Fetal distress: is when the baby’s heart rate is not within normal range. It could be too high or too low. This often indicates that the baby is already stressed out from labour and could die if not delivered soon enough.
3) Abnormal positioning of the baby: e.g Breech position (when the baby’s buttocks or leg will be the first part of the baby to come out) or transverse position (baby lies sideways).
4) Placenta previa: the placenta of the baby occupies the lowermost part of the womb and totally or partially covers the opening of the womb (cervix) through which the baby will pass.
5) Placenta abruption: this is when the placenta separates from the womb. When this happens, there is usually bleeding and if C-section is not performed immediately, the baby will die.
6) Pre-eclampsia: is a condition involving high blood pressure during pregnancy. This condition could prevent the placenta from getting the proper amount of blood needed and decrease oxygen flow to the baby. Delivery is sometimes recommended as a treatment for this condition. Only with severe pre-eclampsia is a caesarean needed
7) Previous Caeserean section: Most women who have had one caserean section before can be allowed to deliver on their own which is known as Vaginal Birth After Caeserean Section (VBAC). However, before they are allowed to try vaginal delivery they should have passed certain criteria. If you have had a caeserean section before and you’re considering vaginal delivery, consult your doctor to know if you fit the criteria for a VBAC.
8) Multiple babies: Some twins can be delivered vaginally eg when both babies are head down. However, if the first twin is leg or buttock down, C-section is recommended. Higher order pregnancies like triplets are often delivered via C-section.
9) Tumours in the womb or birth canal: If you have a tumour that causes an obstruction to delivering your baby vaginally like a large fibroid, you should have a CS.
10) Infection: If a mother has an infection that could be transferred to her baby if she tries vaginal delivery, it is recommended she opts for a C-section. E.g HIV positive women with high viral load, active genital herpes infection.
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