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Caesarean section

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Caesarean section

Sometimes the safest option for you or your baby is to have a caesarean section. As a caesarean section involves major surgery, it's only performed when there's a need for this type of delivery.

Your baby is delivered by cutting through your abdomen and then into your womb (uterus). The cut is usually made across your abdomen, just below your bikini line. The scar is usually hidden in your pubic hair. If you are expecting twins, triplets or more, it's more likely that you'll be considered for a caesarean section. This will depend on how your pregnancy progresses, the positioning of your babies and if the babies share a placenta.

Whenever a caesarean is suggested, your doctor will explain why it is advised and any possible side effects. Don't hesitate to ask questions.

Emergency caesareans

Emergency caesareans are needed when complications develop during pregnancy or labour and delivery needs to be quick.

If your midwife and doctor are concerned about the safety of you or your baby, they will suggest that you have a caesarean straight away, for instance if your cervix doesn't dilate fully during labour and birth isn't progressing properly, or if you bleed during labour.

Elective caesareans

A caesarean is elective if it is planned in advance. This usually happens when your doctor or midwife believes that labour will be dangerous for you or your baby, for example if your baby is in the breech position (feet first).

If you ask for a caesarean when there aren't medical reasons, your doctor or midwife should explain the overall risks and benefits of caesarean section compared with vaginal birth. You should also be able to talk to other members of your healthcare team, such as the obstetrician, to make sure you have accurate information.

If you ask for a caesarean section because you are anxious about giving birth, your midwife or doctor should offer you the chance to discuss your anxiety with a healthcare professional who can offer support during your pregnancy and labour. If you still feel that you do not want a vaginal birth after you have discussed this, you should be offered a caesarean section.

Vaginal Birth After Caesarean Section

If you have a baby by caesarean section, this does not necessarily mean that any baby you have in the future will have to be delivered by caesarean. Most women who have had a caesarean section can have a vaginal delivery for their next baby. It depends on why you had a caesarean section the first time. Most women who are advised to try for a vaginal delivery in subsequent pregnancies do go on to have normal deliveries.




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