Everyone has some sort of birth plan in mind when having a baby. Whether it is one's first or third child, there is always a certain image that one keeps in mind. Perhaps a home birth? Or maybe a midwife at the hospital? The birth plan that includes the hubby as a coach, some great tunes, and an epidural? Of course, all of these are options in a perfect world, but what happens when the universe does not decide to cooperate? What happens when the baby has other plans?
When lives are in danger during labor, or mom and baby perhaps suffer from a condition in advance of that day, a C-section may end up being the only option available. Whether one experiences fetal distress during labor or a myriad of disorders and events that can occur during pregnancy, plan B is often a necessary evil for many moms-to-be.
Over the next several pages, the varying causes for care and concern over baby's entry into this world will be discussed. Fear not, mamas...these issues are not common, and can most likely be safely addressed by one's physician. Just as with anything else, knowledge is power when it comes to delivering a healthy baby.
Every mother, baby, labor, and delivery are completely different. You just never know what the universe may have in store for you and your little one on that final day of pregnancy fun. Some labors are short and sweet, while others are long and drawn out. Most of the time, as long as Mom and baby appear to be handling the stress of a long labor reasonably well, time is not that much of an issue.
What happens though, when time keeps clicking on by and there is little to no progress being made?
If mom doesn't make progress after several hours of painful labor, the doctors and nurses may eventually recommend that a c-section be performed.
As much fun as it is, you just can't stay in labor forever. Mother and baby cannot stay at that heightened level for too long, or both could end up in distress. Sometimes a last minute intervention may be necessary.
This diagnosis is given when the baby's head is just too large to pass through the mother's pelvis. For whatever reason, sometimes mom and baby have different physical traits that just don't match up for a safe V delivery. It is thought that true CPD is a fairly rare occurrence, and that some cases of a lack of progression at labor are simply misdiagnosed as such.
In any case, if your baby's head is too large to pass through your pelvis, a C-section will most certainly be required. You can't squeeze a round peg through a square hole, ya know what I mean? Anyway, nobody wants to take a risk on the health of baby and mama, so if the diagnosis is one of CPD before a mom goes into labor, a scheduled C-section will almost certainly be the way to go.
Uterine rupture is also quite a rare occurrence, but is also one of an extremely serious nature. Uterine rupture occurs during late pregnancy or V birth, causing the uterus to tear suddenly, and allowing baby to slip into the mother's abdomen. This is serious business, and may cause severe bleeding in the mother and possibly affects the baby's breathing.
Fast action is necessary, and the baby must be removed via c-section immediately.
This condition occurs in less that one percent of pregnant women, however, it is more common among women who have had a previous c-section and attempts a V delivery on subsequent births. The uterus tends to tear on the scar line in these cases.
In any case, as stated before, this remains a rare occurrence, but certainly something to consider if you are attempting a V delivery after a previous c-section.
Most babies get into the correct position for a vaginal birth within a few weeks of their entrance into this world. Some babies, however (my daughter included) have different plans. My daughter was in the head down position for the last several weeks of pregnancy, and then, just before I went into labor, decided to turn to the side just enough to dislodge from the correct position. They have a mind of their own even in utero I tell ya!
In any case, if the baby is in any position other that head first, attempting a vaginal birth can put both Mom and baby at an unnecessary risk of complications. For this reason, if a baby cannot be easily manipulated back into position, a c-section will often be the way the doctor chooses to go.
No worries though. If you do indeed end up needing to have a c-section, it's not nearly as bad as you are no doubt afraid it will be. Healthy Mom and baby are what's most important.
Diabetes is a complicated disorder to say the least. Getting and staying pregnant with diabetes is no small accomplishment on its own. That being said, medical science has come a long way in helping diabetic moms navigate the ups and downs of a high-risk pregnancy. There is certainly more information and help available than there has been at any other time in history.
In any case, once Mom has made it to the day in the delivery room, a new set of problems are likely to present. For some reason, the uterus of a diabetic woman has a much more difficult time contracting than that of a non-diabetic woman. There are several theories on why that may be, but for our purposes here, let's just say that it will almost certainly have an impact on an attempt at a V delivery.
C-sections are much more common in the diabetic population.
The uterus is one reason, but of course diabetes is a complicated disorder. Research may prove to improve those statistics, but for now, it is certainly still a factor.
A prolapsed umbilical cord can be quite dangerous to the baby. In these situations, the cord drops through the open cervix during labor (or possibly pre-labor if Mom is dilating), causing the cord to become vulnerable to the movements of the baby. This could cause pressure on the cord, resulting in a deprivation of oxygen to the baby. The cord is also more likely to wrap around the baby's neck when a prolapse is present.
For this reason, if a prolapsed cord is found, the baby will be delivered via c-section to avoid any further complications.
Once again, this condition is fairly rare, occurring in approximately one in every 300 births. Out of those births, most have had the required assistance and go on to deliver healthy babies.
Genital herpes is difficult to manage under many circumstances, but if you are pregnant, and have an active sore at the time of delivery, you are quite likely to pass the virus on to your newborn baby. Of course nobody wants that!! HSV (herpes simplex virus) is absolutely manageable in adults, but if the virus is spread to a newborn baby, the results can be quite dangerous.
Babies exposed to NSV may develop neonatal herpes, which can result in infection throughout their tiny bodies, often leaving permanent damage behind. Obviously, precautions need to be taken if Mom is indeed carrying the herpes virus.
What precautions, you ask? Well, the most important is for baby to avoid any contact with an open sore. In order for this to happen, a C-section will need to be performed. Better to be safe than sorry.
Obviously, having multiple babies at one time is a bit of a tedious situation. Instead of monitoring the health and well-being of just one mom and one baby, the job is multiplied by the number of precious little ones that are ready to make their way into the world. So what is a doctor to do?
Well, if there are more than two babies, it is almost certain that the idea of a C-section will be carefully considered. Not to say that it is the only option, but it is more than likely the preferred one.
Delivering babies under the most "normal" of circumstances can have surprises, but delivering three or more at the same time? Pretty safe to say that the doc better be prepared to expect the unexpected.
In any case, multiple babies mean multiple sources of love, and that, my friends, is what it's all about.
When the placenta has a mind of its own later on in the pregnancy, and it somehow shifts to a position completely or partially covering the cervix, this is a condition known as Placenta Previa. Approximately one in two hundred pregnant women are diagnosed with this disorder in their third trimester.
Usually if this disorder is present, bed rest is prescribed for Mom to finish out her last few weeks before giving birth. This is also the time that a c-section will likely be scheduled for the due date. Mother and baby will be closely monitored to make sure that the baby is sitting pretty until it is time for her grand entrance.
Not to fear, Mama. This condition, although a bit scary, is most likely manageable with no harm to your precious little angel.
If you are among those that have already given birth by C-section, your odds of having one with subsequent pregnancies is significantly increased. Of course some doctors will encourage a woman to attempt a V-BAC (V Birth After C-section), but in reality, unless all of the stars in the universe align perfectly, you will more than likely have a repeat C-section.
A mom's uterus is never quite the same even once her scars are healed.
Although most of the time she is strong enough to carry future babies to term, many times doctors have voiced concern about the added pressures of a V delivery.
The thing is, the risks far outweigh the benefits to both Mom and baby, so most docs will just opt against it from the beginning.
Sometimes even the most uneventful pregnancies can have a surprise ending. During labor, although also uncommon, sometimes baby will show signs of distress. This is why we are hooked up to all of those fabulous monitors during labor and delivery. All of those crazy devices are designed to make sure that baby is comfy cozy and safe during the process.
If anything begins to look the slightest bit questionable, doctors and nurses will no doubt be right there to closely monitor the situation. If it is determined that the baby is in distress, a c-section will be performed quickly. There's no time to play around in making the decision if it appears that your baby is not getting enough air.
Once again, hospital births that show that the baby is any sort of distress are most likely going to be quick to address the problem...giving Mom and baby pretty good odds of coming through this trauma with flying colors.
Sadly, even in this day and age, birth defects still occur in a small percentage of pregnancies. Although the disorders vary greatly, and the levels of prenatal care involved are certainly not always predictable, the basic school of thought is to bring a baby into this world with a few surprises as possible.
This is easier to do when Mom has had regular prenatal care, but no matter what the situation, fragile babies are better off if they are brought into this world in a controlled and delicate manner.
This is why a C-section will quite likely be performed on a mother that is carrying a child with some sort of birth defect.
In any case, these little angels on earth will surely be welcomed with hugs and kisses from many directions.
Preeclampsia is a disorder that can pop up in roughly five to eight percent of all pregnancies. Basically, this condition causes the mother's blood pressure to rise to very unsafe levels, threatening the health of both mother and baby. The good news? If caught and treated early on, this disorder is quite manageable.
Prompt medical attention is definitely key here.
Mom and baby need to be carefully monitored to make sure that no problems arise during pregnancy or labor and delivery. Depending on how this problem presents, doctors may want to schedule a C-section to avoid any surprises during a stressful labor. Others however, may find surgery to be more stressful on the mother's body than labor, so they may take a wait and see approach.
Either way, everyone's goal is to have a healthy mommy and baby at the end of the day, and most of the time, with proper medical care, that is indeed how it turns out.
Although uncommon, placental abruption is a serious complication that can occur during pregnancy. The placenta, which grows inside of the uterus and keeps baby safe and sound, detaches from the uterine wall, leaving baby vulnerable to a loss of oxygen and nutrients. Heavy bleeding may occur in the mother, along with several other symptoms.
V bleeding, abdominal pain, back pain, uterine pain, contractions, and a firmness in the uterus or abdomen are a few of the warning signs that placenta abruption has occurred. Seek medical attention immediately if you suspect that this may be happening, as quick medical attention is necessary to keep both mom and baby from suffering severe consequences.
If detachment is indeed the case, an emergency c-section will be performed to help preserve the health of both mom and baby.
Scheduled C-sections have become more popular in recent years. The thing is, however, the reasons behind them have on occasion become a bit fluffier. A wedding? Christmas? Reservations at some sort of fancy restaurant?
Some doctors will allow their pregnant patients the option of a C-section for the convenience factor.
Don't get me wrong, I understand that people have lives to live, and lots of things going on, but if you don't NEED to have a C-section, should you really be having one just so you are available to go to your husband's corporate Christmas Party? I'm not sure that I would want to tell my kid that I chose their birthday so that it wouldn't be on a day that was a big pain in the butt.
To each their own I suppose. Obviously, the most important thing to consider is the health and well-being of mom and baby, and that, I would venture to say, is different for everyone.