Caesarean or C-section is commonly considered to be an emergency procedure. Doctors often conduct a C-section when a natural delivery would put the mother or the baby at risk. Some of the conditions or situations when a C-section is performed include:
- Obstructed labour
- Twin pregnancy
- High blood pressure or pre-eclampsia in the mother
- Breech birth
- Problems with the umbilical cord, placenta or shape of the pelvis
- Previous obstetric history
According to the World Health Organisation, C-sections must be performed based on the need of the patient and are often a life saver for the baby and the mother. In many cases, conducting a C-section is a decision made during the time of delivery, however, when underlying conditions are diagnosed earlier, it is planned to ensure safety of the mother and the baby.
In the recent past, there has been an increase in the number of women opting for a caesarean over natural birth. Some of the reasons why mothers-to-be choose to go under the knife are:
- Having a planned C-section means you know exactly when your baby will be born. Choosing the date of birth adds to the happiness of the special day.
- A C-section also means you will not have to go through contractions, or feel the pain between your vagina and back passage that happens during a vaginal birth. For some time afterwards you do have a very sore wound and tummy, however, this can be managed with pain relief medications.
While some of the discomforts of a vaginal birth are still experienced after a caesarean, but the following become less likely:
- Abdominal pain, pain from bruising and stitches in the perineum
- Heavy bleeding after the birth
- Sexual dysfunction that some women associate with a vaginal birth
- Reduced chances of suffering incontinence
While various studies list the benefits and risks of having a C-section, the final decision should always be taken after consultation with the consulting gynaecologist. Most organisations urge healthcare providers to refrain from performing unnecessary C-sections. The risks associated with having a C-section, far outweigh the cons and there are no medical reasons to suggest that a maternal request C-section is safer than a vaginal birth. And there is good evidence which suggests that if you have more than one child, a natural delivery is a much safer option. While, unavoidable in certain situations, a C-section is not the preferred route to opt for in most cases.