Reasons For Elective C Section

21 Replies
Nadine - October 11

What are some of the reasons why a woman may opt for an elective c-section for her first baby?


Nadine - October 11

This is an excerpt from the book, "Ever Since I Had My Baby". "What's happened down there?" you've asked yourself, as have so many other women from time immemorial. Ever since that wondrous day you gave birth--for the first time or the fifth--your body has never felt quite the same. Was it embarra__sment over the loss of urine you first noticed while lifting your child, laughing with your friends, or making a run to the bathroom? Was it your growing self-consciousness about controlling your bowel movements or gas? Or maybe it was your worry that s_x didn't feel the same as it once did, and that your partner's satisfaction might have changed also.


Nadine - October 11

Another excerpt from the book: What's happened down there for you and many other women are the effects of pregnancy, labor, and delivery--of forceps, episiotomies, and a newborn's head, shoulders, arms, and legs--on your pelvic muscles, nerves, bladder, bowel, and v____a. They are long-term problems of the pelvic floor that modern obstetrics has overlooked in its efforts to make delivery safe and comfortable in the short term. Leaking, bulging, soiling, s_xual dissatisfaction--women of past generations rarely complained about these "inevitable costs" of childbirth. After all, what could be done?


Joy - October 11

That's just it. Doctors and everyone are so quick to tell everyone about the dangers, risks and the complications which can arise from having a c-section but they are not too quick to tell you about the damage you can sustain from having a v____al delivery. A lot of women go into a v____al delivery thinking it is all natural and the best way only to find out later that it was anything but natural. They learn the hard way because they were not informed of the risks a__sociated with v____al delivery beforehand and then afterwards they are burdened with life altering body changes that affect their quality of life - like using the bathroom for example or the affect it may have on intimacy because they may have episiotomy scars or hemmoroids or something.


DJ - October 11

Yes, while a v____al delivery may appear to be the safest mode of delivery at the present time rather than having a c-section, a lot of the times the benefits of the v____al delivery are only short term. And even though complications can and DO arise from women having c-sections and the recovery may take longer, a woman may not be faced with some of the leaking, bulging and soiling, etc. that sometimes results from having a v____al delivery if she has the section. Those are some of the reasons why a woman may want to elect for a c-section for her first baby. She may prefer a longer c-section recovery rather than have the leaking, bulging, soiling, hemmoroid issues for the rest of her life. And maybe the woman only intends on having one or two children so therefore a c-section may be possible for her.


Gina - October 11

Complications can arise from having either a v____al delivery or a c-section. This subject is so controversial. Not one method of delivery is superior to the other. There are pros and cons of each and I understand what each woman is saying when she prefers one type of birth over the other.


jorden - October 11

well...i know in my case they gave me a choice of trying to do it v____ally or i could have had a c-section because my baby was so big.(10lbs 7oz) There's always a chance that the babys shoulders could get stuck if its a bigger baby, but i had always wanted a c-section. So i just went with it. I know some doctors will give you a choice for no reason. I dont know of many though.


djh - October 11

there are many reasons given, a few of them actually have merit. The avoidance of pain, however, should not be one of them. Cesareans for most women can be very painful and damage as stated for v____al deliveries can also occur with c/s's. I know, they all happened to me. One method is (in hindsight) usually better than the other for each individual woman medically. Now mentally, that's a whole other story. I personally thought my very long, hyper-active labor was more bearable than the longer hours and weeks of recovery from my c-sections. The menstrual problems, subsequent hysterectomy due to adenomyosis and the necessitation of detachment of my bladder from my uterus was not worth the avoidance of v____al birth in my eyes and if I could have delivered any of my children v____ally, I would certainly have tried. As for leaking urine, it happens frequently with c-sections too due to damage and scar tissue from the surgury itself, bowel problems happen with c's/s too, and gas? Well that sounds like food allergies and/or IBS too. S_x after my hysterectomy has changed and I am not even supposed to be in this "stage" yet and I too, don't feel the same down there. It's tough all the way around, isn't it?


Robin - October 12

I am 35+ and am planning on having at least one child, two at the most and everybody in my family has had traumatic v____al births and suffered a lot of damage. And I am smaller than any of my other family members. So I am planning on an elective c-section for my first baby. 20-30 percent of all births end up in c-section anyway even when the baby is head down and the woman has had a healthy, normal pregnancy and the baby is not too big for the mother's pelvis. At my age, 35+ I am not going to risk going through 10-35+ hours of labour only to end up having a c-section anyway. If a woman has a c-section, a planned one is better than an emergency one. And if a woman knows she only wants 1 or 2 children at the most (like I do) then a c-section may be a consideration for her. I have waited this long to have a baby that at my age I am not going to put my body through that grueling labour only to end up with a c-section anyway. And I have witnessed members of my family suffer through the immediate after affects (and years later) of what their v____al birth did to them so I know that if I was forced to have a v____al birth, my blood pressure would go up and I would be so stressed out that the doctors would have to perform a c-section anyway.


mandy. - October 12

I am in my late 30's and have avoided pregnancy with a man I've been with for twenty yrs.I have tokiphobia,petrified of giving birth.A specialist told me if I want a section then I can,there maybe nothing wrong with the position of the baby,or me,but I have a choice.The thing is,like the last post says,I think of going through all that pain,only to not progress and end up with an emergency.I would rather do as Marcie said,plan the day,etc.Marcie said she'd had one of each,the 1st natural,and chose the 2nd a c-section,because of the trauma,and prefered it.Also,although its cla__sed as major surgery,lets face it,the op is so commen now,celebs go for it,some women maybe not be choice,but some have had at least 4 sections,just scoll down the lisy and see.


Bon - October 23

Of course there are times when c-section is absolutely necessary, and a woman’s right to chose is important. But I haven’t seen any comments about the risks to the baby. Informed choice means knowing all the information! Here are some excerpts from different articles I found on the internet (sites listed after the blurb): "For the baby delivered by C-section, there is less likelihood of successful b___st feeding and a greater risk of breathing difficulties and asthma in childhood and later in life, the report says. Cesarean section also increases the risk of future infertility for the mother, the report says, as well as increased risk of problems with the placenta or rupturing of the uterus in future pregnancies, which can be serious medical emergencies. (Newsday -- Health)" "Vaginal births may take longer, but women who deliver by Cesarean section are more likely to develop infections, report poor delivery experiences and be re-hospitalized. What's more, C-section babies are less likely to be b___stfed and are at higher risk for breathing problems and asthma, according to research conducted by the Maternity Center a__sociation, a New York-based advocacy group that promotes safe and effective maternity care." "A new study has indicated that Caesarean section babies have a higher risk of food allergies and diarrhea during their first year of life. Researchers from Ludwig-Maximilians University, Munich, Germany looked at 865 babies. All of them were b___st fed during their first four months of life. Researchers say that C section babies are more likely than other babies to have diarrhea during their first year of life. Their chances of being allergic to cow's milk are twice as high as babies born normally... The researchers reckon that C section delays (or alters) the normal bacterial colonization of the baby's gut. It is thought that gut bacteria play a vital role in the development of our immune systems. The researchers suggested that a v____ally delivered baby is picking up bacteria from the mother's v____al and a___l area while a C-section baby is picking up other ones from the hospital environment. Some health experts are saying that there are flaws in the study. For example, about 25% of C section babies are born two to three weeks early. This early birth could be playing a role in the findings rather than the C section." "Babies born via caesarean section (C-section) may face a higher risk of food allergies and diarrhea as infants than others, a new study shows. German researchers found babies born via C-section were twice as likely to be sensitive to common foods, such as cows' milk, at 12 months of age as babies born v____ally. C-section babies were also more likely to have diarrhea during their first year of life... The study showed that neither colicky pain nor eczema -- symptoms a__sociated with food allergies -- during the first four months was a__sociated with the method of delivery. But babies born by C-section were 46% more likely to have diarrhea up to age 12 months than v____ally delivered babies. In addition, C-section babies were also twice as likely to be sensitive to cows' milk and any of the other five food allergens tested at age 12 months. Researchers suggest that babies delivered via the v____al ca___l acquire the mother's v____al, intestinal, and other bacteria, which may help protect them and promote a healthy immune system. But babies born via C-section acquire bacteria from the hospital environment that may increase the risk of food allergies and other problems." "An interesting article in the April, 2001 issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology reports that children born by C-section are more likely to develop asthma than children born v____ally. In the study, done in Finland, researchers were able to obtain data from the National Public Health Inst_tute on asthma, allergic disorders and obstetric history for 2000 people born in 1966 who survived to age 31. C-section was done in 5.3% of the population studied and was strongly a__sociated with current doctor-diagnosed asthma." "A new study of women with stalled labor shows that Cesarean sections are more likely than v____al deliveries to result in prolonged hospitalization and serious bleeding for mothers, with no significant gain for the health of the newborn... British researchers say women who are stuck in the middle stage of labor are better off having a v____al delivery, even when injurious instruments are used, and that C-sections should be avoided if possible. For newborns C-section was a mixed bag. They were 2.6 times more likely than those delivered by forceps to require intensive care, but their risk of bruises, sc___pes and other injuries was 60 percent lower, the researchers say. On the other hand, 13 C-section babies had blood infections, compared with only six in the v____al delivery group. The number with jaundice was roughly equal, but tilted more toward C-section. The findings appear in the Oct. 13 issue of The Lancet." "The incidence of persistent pulmonary hypertension in newborns delivered by cesarean section is nearly five times higher than that observed among babies delivered v____ally, according to a database a___lysis of deliveries at the Illinois Masonic Medical Center, in Chicago. Among 25,318 deliveries between 1992 and 1999, 4301 were cesareans, report Dr. Elliot M. Levine and a__sociates in the March issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology. The incidence of persistent pulmonary hypertension was 4.0 per 1000 live cesarean births, compared with 0.8 per 1000 live v____al births. The authors suggest that labor and v____al delivery, perhaps by physical compression in the birth ca___l, is advantageous for the pulmonary vascular bed of the neonate." Dr. Ann Honebrink of the University of Pennsylvania, points out that a C-section is major surgery that carries risks of bleeding and infection, and requires a longer recovery period. Honebrink also says there's no proof that elective C-sections help women avoid incontinence or s_xual woes. "I think we'll look back [on elective C-sections] in 10 years and think that maybe this wasn't so good," Honebrink says. She notes that C-sections leave scar tissue and adhesions that may make it more difficult for a woman to get a proper colonoscopy or make it more likely she'll have complications if she needs additional surgery later in life, such as a hysterectomy. Researchers from New York University found that a cavity-causing bacterium that grows on tooth surfaces appeared much earlier in babies delivered by C-section than in those delivered v____ally. The study evaluated 156 mother-infant pairs.


djh - October 23

Bon was essentially writing about me. Many mothers choose elective c-sections to: avoid perceived difference in pain levels (not true), to avoid pelvic floor and a___l trauma (not always true) to determine when baby will be born (whose best interest here?) psychological reasons (that should be addressed). Some c-sections are absolutely medically necessary, some are for ambiguous reasons, some are actually caused by medical intrusion and some are totally without merit. Bon described me and my children very well. I have a juvenile pelvis and couldn't get anybody even near the birth ca___l so c's they were. I was a c-section baby due to placenta previa, I have asthma, 2 of my kids have asthma, all had allergies to formula when i switched...I had a hysterctomy and they ran into a lot of trouble trying to free my bladder from my uterus and I had to stay under aneshtesia a lot longer than if I didn't have c-section adhesions. It comes down to this, c-sections sound safe, sound like they prevent damage (they don't I know) and are not harmful to babies, I had 2 with breathing problems, one was full term. Sometimes c's are better for the mother and/or the baby, but they don't prevent most of the events women are trying to avoid. Just think about your baby's best interest and down the road problems if you are considering forgoing your first labor.


marcie - November 2

As I have said on other lists,I believe it is the womans choice into how she wants to bring a child into the world.The most important aspect is raising it.I had two births,the 1st was natural,and the epidural did not take,the pain was the worst I could imagine.I really believed at one stage my legs were splitting.I know pain fades but I can clearly remember wanting to never forget it.The 2nd was only concieved because I was having a planned section.All was fine,head facing the right way,I was fit and fine,but no way was I having that again.My second baby was born,and looked perfect,I was relaxed and able to enjoy the birth.The recovery afterwards was manageable,and there has never been a problem with breathing or anything with my 2nd baby.


charlotte - November 14

well said marcie,and for what its worth,if ever I got pregnant again,which I won't,but I would have a section again,and as I know what its about now,it would be a lot less worry than before.


Katie - November 14

I am currently trying to make up my mind whether to opt for a v____al delivery or elective caesarian. I don't have any medical indications for a caesarean. My reasons for considering an elective caesarean are purely for the sake of my baby. If I had to choose what I would prefer only considering myself, I would choose a v____al delivery, as recovery is much quicker and I won't have the risks of major surgery. Complications can occur in any birth, be it caesarean or a v____al delivery. The reason why I would prefer a caesarean for my baby is mainly because of the risk of hypoxic brain damage (if oxygen to the babys brain is cut off for a certain amount of time) leading to cerebral palsy, and severe brain damage. Even moderate impairment will be catastrophic. My opinion is that hypoxic brain damage during birth is completely preventable - by elective caesarian section. A study to this effect was published earlier this year (?or late last year) in Lancet. On the other hand, other complications that a baby might experience after a caesaerean is transient breathing difficulties due to "wet lungs", which may necessitate a day in an incubator, but babies don't die from this, and it can be prevented by delaying the caesarean to at least 39 weeks / when the first signs of labour start. Furthermore, the information that Bon gave regarding the incidence of allergies may definately have some merit, although there are also some studies proving the opposite. I however believe that colonisation by "good organisms" can prevent allergies. These good organisms can come from the mothers v____a, but also from b___stmilk and studies have proven that lactobacillus supplementation in pregnancy and while b___stfeeding can decrease the incidence of allergies. So even if a caesaerian section may increase the risk of allergies in your baby, you can prevent this from hapenning by probiotic / lactobacillus supplementation. At this stage I am leaning towards elective caesarian for the only reason of preventing a rare, but serious complication that does unfortunately still occur after some v____al deliveries - hypoxic brain damage. A 1:1000 chance of this happening outweighs any personal discomfort that I may feel or transient breathing difficulties or allergies in my baby.


Shannon - November 14

I had an elective C/S with my first, 3.5 years ago. She was frank breech and I had an episode of HSV around my 37th week so at the advice of my doctor, I scheduled a C/S. Now I am at 38 weeks with my second and have been stressed out this whole pregnancy, wondering if I should have the elective repeat cesarean or attempt a v____al birth (VBAC). I have been struggling with this for 8 months. The hardest thing I have to deal with is whether to put the baby at risk, or myself at risk. I have chosen to put myself at risk by going with the C/S. The risk of uterine rupture is 1/200 or 0.5% and the risk of the baby contracting HSV is about 1%. They put me on a drug called acyclovir for the last week and it has given me an upset stomach as well as diarrhea, on top of the fact that you aren't supposed to use it while pregnant unless the benefits outweigh the risks. I hate prescription drugs because they approve them and then a few years later say.."oops" and find out a bunch of side effects. If I had never contracted HSV, I would attempt a v____al birth this time probably. Although, the hospital where I live is very disorganized as well, which makes it scary to think of yourself in an emergency situation. There is very little likelihood that my baby will have any problems after C/S compared with the rare, but still possible, risks of death with a v____al birth. If you are considering a C/S for your first baby and have absolutely no medical reason for it, my opinion would be to try a v____al birth just to avoid the very clinical aspect and recovery of a C/S. They strap you down to a table and you don't get to hold your baby or even know it's ok until at least a couple hours later. I also have another child at home who needs me and I know it's going to be very difficult to care for her afterwards. She also has a very weak immune system and possibly asthma, but she is otherwise healthy, and alive. I think that you need to think about the pros and cons of C/S and whether or not you want more children. With each C/S your risks to your baby increase dramatically. I hope all goes well and you have a wonderful and healthy baby. If you are attempting to b___stfeed, don't give up. It takes a little longer but it will benefit you in the long run. Thanks!


marcie. - November 15

I have already explained why I opted for an elective section the 2nd time.I just wish I had done it the 1st time as well,and avoided that experience.To Katie I find it facinating that you are to consider a cesarean,not because of you,but because of the baby.With my 2nd,I knew that at approaching 39weeks my baby was ready to be born.There are some babies that are born very premature that live,because of all the advances,so that did not bother me at all.As for a natural birth and brain damage to the baby,well its a natural birth,think how many babies are born daily,in fact either way how many are born daily,and few problems develop.As to the recovery being quicker in a natural birth.It was'nt in my case.



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