When C-Section Is A Life-Saver

July 4, 2010

While you are looking forward to having a normal vaginal delivery, you are well aware that there are complications that can necessitate a cesarean delivery. While you hope this won't be necessary, it's good to be prepared. Here are some of the reasons that continuing or inducing labor may be deemed too dangerous and which may result in the need for a c-section delivery:

When Your Labor Stops Cold

*Your labor seems to be stopped cold. Your cervix is no longer dilating and your baby doesn't move down the birth canal. Attempts to restart labor aren't successful.

*Baby's heart rate is worrying your physician and so he decides that labor or the induction of labor is too stressful for the baby.

*You have a prolapsed cord. This means that the cord is slipping through your cervix. The baby must be delivered right away since a prolapsed cord may cut off his supply of oxygen.

*You have placental abruption in which your placenta is trying to separate from the uterine wall before delivery is complete. This deprives the baby of oxygen and necessitates immediate delivery.

*Your baby is at risk for infection because your water has broken or because you are in the midst of a genital herpes outbreak at the time you go into labor. Cesarean delivery helps your baby avoid the possibility of infection.

Final Decision For a Cesarean

Once your doctor decides a cesarean delivery is indicated, he will explain to you the necessity for a surgical birth. You will be asked to sign a consent form. If up until now, you have been attended by a midwife, you will now be assigned to an obstetrician who will assess your condition, make his final decision, and obtain your consent.

Next, an anesthesiologist will talk to you about pain management. General anesthesia is quite rare these days. Epidural or spinal blocks are the most common methods for pain management during c-section surgery. Both these methods will leave your lower body numb but you will be awake for your baby's birth.

It is typical for the partner or husband to stay with you throughout the majority of the surgical preparation as well as for the birth itself. Sometimes, however, the cesarean is such a sudden emergency that your partner has no time to change into surgical clothes or you may require general anesthesia. In such cases it is unlikely that your partner will be able to stay with you in the operating room.

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