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Things doctors won’t tell you about c-sections

If you’re slated to have a c-section during your next childbirth, here are 7 things the doctors won’t tell you about the procedure; things that will spare you a few headaches and worry.

Pregnancy By Ariba Khaliq / Jul 04, 2015

The real story behind C-sections

A woman who has delivered through caesarean section needs at least four weeks to recover because it involves cutting through her skin, tissue, and uterine wall, extracting the baby and placenta, and sewing the incision. A vaginal delivery on the other hand needs just one or two weeks to recover. Going through a surgery puts you at risk for developing infection, blood loss, and blood clots, plus other potentially deadly complications. Still a lot of moms and profit-seeking doctors have been promoting this trend – a 50 percent increase in c-sections has happened over the previous decade. The following reasons explain why C-sections are so hot.

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Better technology caters to more potential problems

Doctors these days rely heavily on technology more than ever to get indications of any potential problems during pregnancy, labor and delivery. Everything from the third-trimester from ultrasounds that predict the size of the baby to monitors that check the baby’s heart rate during labor and delivery, help the doctors to flag any complications. If they suspect any complications, they play safe and do a c-section. That’s the reason why the number of c-sections done has increased since 1970s when the continuous recording of the foetal heart rate came into being.

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One C-section leads to another

Women who’ve had a c-section once are generally advised by doctors to have one with subsequent deliveries. Vaginal birth after a caesarean used to be an option in the past years, but after a 1999 study showed slim chances that the scar could break, VBAC is rarely used these days to prevent the “catastrophic risk to the mother and baby.”

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Multiple c-sections carry risks

The trend may reverse itself because going through multiple caesareans puts women through risks for injury due to hardened scar tissue and abnormal implantation of the placenta in subsequent pregnancies. National Institutes of Health are re-evaluating whether VBACs should be made widely available again.

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Late conceptions may be responsible for rising C-sections

More women these days are not in a hurry to have children and the likeness of delivering through c-section increases with maternal age. Older women develop more complications in their pregnancy, which may perplex delivery, so they are more likely to deliver through c-section. Additionally, older women usually need fertility treatments to be able to conceive. Such treatments lead them to conceive twins, triplets, etc. and more than one baby in the womb often demands surgery.

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Natural delivery in obese women can be nearly impossible

The American Heart Association says that today 34 percent of women over the age of 20 fall under the “clinically obese” category, as compared with 26 percent about ten years ago. Heavier women have bigger babies which obviously are more difficult to push. Also, too much fatty tissue doesn’t allow the baby to move smoothly through the birth canal. It also prevents the body from absorbing labor-speeding medications. Obesity-driven issues like diabetes and high blood pressure may lead to induced labor and unwanted c-sections.

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More inductions mean more c-sections

The problem with inducing labor is that it doesn’t work as well as natural labor, increasing the chances of a caesarean by 35 to 50 percent. Labor is induced by drug stimulation, manually stripping the membranes connecting the amniotic sac to the uterine walls, or rupturing the amniotic sac. All these methods cause contractions but they don’t always work. Because inductions are at an all-time high, accounting for almost 22 percent of births, the number of caesareans has spiked too, according to the American College of Obstetricians.

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The safest method of delivery

Unfortunately, no method of delivery can be unanimously proclaimed to be the safest. However, most experts believe an uncomplicated vaginal delivery to be the soundest way to go. That being said, it really can’t be known as to who will wind up having an uncomplicated vaginal delivery.

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