Having a Cesarean section is a very different way to experience the birthing process than a vaginal delivery is both in terms of the delivery itself and of the recovery afterwards. Many C sections are not planned they are performed because the Mum to Be, the baby or both are experiencing medical complications that make continuing with a normal vaginal birth an increasingly unsafe option. There are times though when a pregnant woman actually has a c sections that is planned and scheduled in advance, either for medical reasons or at the Mum to be’s own personal request.
Medically Planned C Sections
There are a number of different reasons why an OBGYN might advise a scheduled c section be planned. Very large babies (babies over 9 pounds per a sonogram) are usually delivered by c section as a natural delivery would in most cases just be too much for Mum and for Baby. A baby who is lying in a breech (feet first) position in the womb is usually best delivered via c section as well. In addition a Mum with a chronic condition like heart disease or diabetes are advised that a planned c section is the safest option for both Baby and themselves.
If a woman is having twins a natural birth is usually still advised but for triplets (or more) then a scheduled c section is usually performed.
Elective C Sections
More and more women all over the world are opting for scheduled c sections and it is a subject that is a matter of a great deal of controversy and debate. There is a slightly higher risk involved in a c section birth than a vaginal birth if the Mum to be is healthy and why would any woman voluntarily undergo what is really a rather painful abdominal surgery?
There are a number of reasons that more women are electing to schedule a c section. One is a matter of control. Many women who have families, households and jobs to juggle prefer that they can plan everything, right down to their last day at work and the best time to send older children to a babysitter and know exactly what date and time they can arrive at the birthing centre to have their baby. On the face of things that may seem selfish but many mothers who have had a planned c section say that had they not had the option their busy lives and multiple responsibilities would have been much harder to handle.
There are also women who simply fear the pain of a vaginal birth so much that even after education and supportive discussions they simply still do not want to go through the natural birthing process when there is an alternative.
Some medical professionals are concerned that the rise in planned c sections may lead to more medical complications and advise women to think their decision through carefully before making it final. C sections are far easier these days than they once were though, the huge side to side abdominal incision has been replaced by a much smaller bikini line cut and the post op recovery process tends to be much quicker.
In the end the decision to have an elective c section is down to the Mum to be and her partner. The desired outcome of any pregnancy is a happy healthy baby and a happy, healthy Mum so if this is what she feels will help that happen then there is really not too much wrong with that!
Note: This is one of the many labor-series of articles planned out for MyPregnancy.sg. Do check back at http://www.mypregnancy.sg/category/labor/ for more ways of labor