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C-Section Births

What is a C-Section Birth?

A C-section is the delivery of a baby through a surgical abdominal incision. A C-section currently is the most frequent surgery performed on women in the United States.

A C-section is also called: Abdominal delivery; Abdominal birth; Cesarean section.

Why have a C-Section?

A C-section delivery is performed when a vaginal birth is not possible or is not safe for the mother or child.

Surgery is usually done while the woman is awake but anesthetized from the chest to the legs by epidural or spinal anesthesia. During a C-section delivery, an incision is made across the abdomen just above the pubic area, the uterus is opened, the amniotic fluid is drained, and the baby is delivered.

Some of the conditions that could prompt your doctor to recommend a C-section:

  • Herpes.
    • If the mother-to-be has an active herpes lesion, her baby will be delivered by c-section to keep him from developing herpes.
  • A previous c-section with a vertical incision.
    • This "classical" incision may rupture during the rigors of labor.
  • Breech position.
    • In a breech position, the baby is positioned so that he would be born bottom first instead of headfirst.
    • A c-section eliminates many of the complications that could arise from a vaginal breech birth.
  • A large baby.
  • Placenta previa.
    • In this condition, the placenta partly or completely covers the cervical opening so that the baby can’t move outward.
  • Abruptio placentae.
    • Abruptio placentae is a condition that occurs when the placenta separates before labor begins.
    • A quick c-section can save the lives of both the mother and child.
  • Prolapse of the umbilical cord.
    • If the umbilical cord drops into the cervix or vagina, the blood flow to the baby may be squeezed off.
  • Developmental abnormalities of the fetus, such as hydrocephalus or spina bifida.
  • Abnormal fetal heart rate pattern.
  • Multiple babies within the uterus.

Recovery time for C-Section Birth

After a C-section, the mother may experience discomfort as her digestive functions return to normal due to trapped gas. The most common types of discomfort are: itchy scar, pain and burning sensations.

Women who have a C-Section will have to wait about 10 weeks to begin an exercise program.

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