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Cesarean Birth – Risks and Benefits for Mother and Baby

Giving birth to a baby or becoming a mother is an absolute bliss for any woman. All women strive to take this journey of motherhood and take all possible care and love in going through it.

While becoming a mother is thought as a very special and unique journey it is indeed equally tough. The nine months in which the mother keeps the baby in her womb and takes care of every need and the delivery where the baby is finally out and in front of her eyes.

Everything seems so pictorial and perfect. But when it comes to delivery there is a lot of tension in mothers as this is the point where they feel they are at most risk.

The pain associated with the delivery and the limit it can take a toll on her is immeasurable. And so there are ways to deal with the delivery – Normal and caesarean section!

You must have already known about the normal delivery and the natural ways of giving birth to a child. Let us get to know about the Caesarean section or Cesarean birth!

What is Cesarean Birth?

Cesarean birth is one where the baby delivery is done by undertaking an operation. This is a medicinal and surgical method undertaken by doctors to save the mother from undergoing the tremendous pain of delivery a child and is also an aid of saving the baby and mother whenever there arises any complication.

Here a cut is made on the abdomen of the mother and the child is taken out.

What is a Scheduled Cesarean Birth?

A scheduled cesarean birth is one where a particular date has been fixed and cesarean birth has been decided much before the labor pain begins. This can be done in situations like:

  • The baby is not in the right position to be given birth normally.
  • The baby keeps changing its position frequently and it is difficult to presume normal delivery.
  • The mother has any kind of infection like HIV or herpes which is risked to be passed on to the child if normal delivery is taken.

There are times when the parents and doctors are planning to have a normal delivery but due to unavoidable circumstances they have to take a chance at cesarean birth – which is completely in the safety of the mother and the child. These are called unplanned cesarean birth and can be undergone in situations like:

  • Labor pain starts before fixing the date of delivery or cesarean section.
  • Premature birth of the baby.
  • Some serious complication arises which is impossible to ignore and it becomes necessary to save the mother and the baby.
  • Some complications that are not very serious but are not taken any chances for.

Is cesarean Birth a Safe Option?

All operations bring in some sort of risk with them! If there is an operation involved- there is always a risk. If you do not have any complication or labor pain whatsoever, having a normal delivery is the best for you.

It not only helps in keeping one healthy and bringing in a much healthier child but also aids way for a healthier pregnancy in future.

However, there are situations where the baby or the mothers have some sort of complications or problems which are unavoidable and needs the measure of having a cesarean birth.

Cesarean birth is also a safe option as it saves the toughest process of bearing the pain and the release of the baby. This enables the baby to come out in a much safer and non-complicated way which does not cause much pain to the mother.

Cesarean birth as a process is safe, although there are situations where the after effects of cesarean cause a lot of complications. By the matter of fact a lot of cases involve post visits to the doctor regarding the pains, often disturbances etc.

What are the Situations When Cesarean Birth is Preferable?

Cesarean birth is preferable by a lot of doctors as the right measure of giving birth to the child as it is much less in risk compared to the normal delivery. But there are some particular situations where the cesarean birth is chosen to be safer and preferable:

  • When there are complications in the pregnancy.
  • When there is a danger to the baby or mother or both if normal delivery takes place.
  • If there is an infection in the mother which might prove dangerous to the baby if normal delivery takes place

How to Prepare for Cesarean Birth?

Most of the times whenever a cesarean birth chosen by planning, the mother is made to know about it and is expected to keep her ready for it.

As it is one of the biggest operations that a woman has to go through in her normal and safe life, there is always a tension and fear in the woman relating to it.

And that is why doctors plan on making it comfortable on the matter and counseling her with positive thoughts. Yes, you can make yourself ready for the cesarean section by:

  • Taking counseling sessions on the knowledge and precautions to be taken when having a cesarean section.
  • Knowing the care and safety involved in the cesarean section.
  • Not shaving the pubic hair anytime before the cesarean section because it shall happen right before the cesarean section starts.
  • Removing the makeup and cosmetics in the body to let there be natural study of the body colors and signs.
  • Adhering to the Antacid tablets as advised by the doctors to reduce the acid in the stomach. This is done mostly a couple of days prior to the operation.
  • Not eating anything on the day of operation as the operation will want you to be empty stomach. Even water can only be drunk about a couple of hours before the operation.

What are the Risks of having a CesarEan Birth?

Any operation small or big comes with its own set of pain and risks. Cesarean birth does have some risks involved and mostly is restored with a couple of months. These are:

  • Cesarean birth will leave an after delivery pain in your abdomen and vaginal area which will be sometimes big and other times small. It will also cause slight discomfort in the stomach for a couple of months, but the pain and discomfort shall go away within this time.
  • Although antibiotics are given to prevent from any infection before the surgery, there may be some cases where there are infections happening after the surgery too. If the mother has fever, blood discharge or smelly discharge, it comes from infection. There can be three types of infection cause after the surgery:
    Wound infection: This is when the wound is not recovering and the stitches pain. Probably a common case with diabetic or obese people.
    Uterus infection: When there is discomfort in your vaginal area and continuously itching, this is an infection caused due to untimely breakage of water or too many examinations.
    Urinary tract infection: The thin tract inserted in the urinary bladder after the birth of the child will leave some infection. The pain sometimes gets unbearable and causes burning sensations.
  • Clotting of blood is common in people after surgeries and operations. While the doctors do give drugs to control the clot after the surgery, the patient is advised to start making the move as soon as they are allowed to – this saves them from having clots without medicine as blood clots can be really dangerous to life.
  • Adhesives are used to seal the cut made for the operation and they are the most painful part of the surgery. It takes time to recover from it and the body movements of the internal organs keep on making the pain unbearable. It is advised to control the movements to save the risks of further pain.
  • Anesthesia used in the cesarean section is generally a mild and local one which does not give complete unconsciousness. As a result the end effect of anesthesia can be as simple as a headache or as problematic as nerve damage.

What happens during Cesarean Birth?

During a cesarean birth the patient is made to lie on the bed which is tilted to give support to the body as well as maintain the blood pressure. With the use of local anesthetics, the lower body of the mother is made slightly numb to safeguard from all the possible pain.

The doctor makes a straight cut into the clean shaven vagina, which is usually made about 3 finger above the vaginal bone. The skin is then opened wide and the doctor tries reaching to the womb with the help of fingers and soft tools (rather than making cuts).

The doctor then makes a small cut into the womb and pushes the tummy slightly low to give a bigger exposure. This enables making the cut bigger with the help of hands.

The baby is then carefully held and taken out of the womb and risen upwards to show the right state of the baby as soon as she is born. The whole process happens too quick to register what is happening.

And thus it takes about half an hour to get a glimpse of the baby after the operation starts. The doctors then take the baby for care and make the necessary adhesives and stitches to the mother’s body. Her wounds are cleaned and are given medicines for relief.

What are the Benefits of Cesarean Birth?

Cesarean birth is not as scary as women perceive it to be. It is indeed a beneficial and easy way too.

The tremendous pain that is associated with the normal delivery of the child is negotiated with a much unconscious and operated state which is in control of the doctor.

Normal delivery has a lot of risks and sometimes the women just give up midway, which makes it impossible for the doctor to figure out the right steps and do the needful in a planned manner.

Cesarean birth is a much planned and better observed method and comes with its set of precautions. The mother and the child are much safer in this process.

The best part about cesarean is that you already know the time of the child’s birth and get time to prepare for it. One of the perks is also that you don’t have to undergo the huge pain involved in the vaginal traction's.

What are the risks to a baby after cesarean birth?

A baby is all well after a cesarean birth. Although there are perceptions that cesarean birth babies have sometimes breathing problems or catch cold and flu to fast. Thus there is a need to take special care for the babies who are born by cesarean section.

If the baby born through the cesarean section if premature there are more chances of risk involved with their health and thus they are kept under observation until they are declared healthy and safe.

Does Cesarean Birth affect Future Pregnancies?

Once a cesarean birth, always a cesarean birth – this is the rule that is commonly prominent in women. Once you have given birth to a baby with a cesarean section, your future pregnancies are most likely to happen as cesarean sections only.

Although some rare cases do come out to be changers and deliver the baby normally! Women have to take special care of their body after having a cesarean birth.

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