Pregnancy is an exciting time in a woman’s life, and if it’s the first, then it may be fraught with worry. Talking to others who have been through it may help, but it always brings with it several different ideals and points of view. It may be wise to sometimes take a step back and think about what is important to you and your baby.
We always wonder what giving birth would be like and to a certain extent it’s different for everyone. There are several factors to consider, some of which are your age, if it’s the first pregnancy, the size of the fetus etc. Most women think of it simply as a ‘natural’ vaginal delivery, or a c section. In actual fact though, instrumental deliveries are another option.
The rate of c sections are increasing in Malta and worldwide; some women choose to have an elective c section in which, together with the obstetrician, it is decided that that will be the method of delivery. This rise has been seen in many countries and is partly due to fear of litigation and to a certain extent – trend??!!
So firstly, a caesarean section is a surgical procedure in which the baby is removed through a transverse abdominal incision (a horizontal cut in the bikini line area).
The classical indications for this procedure vary, but here are a few:
– Failure of progression of labour (dystocia)
– Malpresentation of the fetus e.g. breech
– Multiple pregnancy
– Haemorrhage (blood loss) e.g. placenta praevia
– High blood pressure
– Fetal distress
– Previous c section
The risks are the same as those associated with any major abdominal surgery. The mother is given either general anaesthesia or a spinal (in which she is conscious). Caesarean sections are very safe procedures, the overall mortality rate is about 0.4 per 1000 emergency sections and 0.1 per 1000 elective sections.
The question is; if their is no indication for it i.e. if its not needed, then are the risks worthwhile?
Some women opt for a c section because they are concerned about the pain during labour, but this can be avoided by having a spinal block, or because of the probable need of an episiotomy. It is important to remember that the post operative pain of abdominal surgery is considerable together with a prolonged hospital stay as opposed to the over-night stay after vaginal delivery.
Ultimately is boils down to the safety of the mother and child.
If you’re considering an elective caesarean; make sure that you have all the facts and to weigh the options, indications and contraindications with your obstetrician.