A c-section, or Caesarean section, is one of the critical methods of child birth. In this method use of surgical incision is done in the mother’s abdomen and uterus. Sometimes c-section is planned in advance and sometimes the surgery is required because of unforeseen complication. In case the mother and the unborn baby are in danger, the doctor may recommend for emergency c-section. In rest cases, it is named as unplanned C-section. A common question is asked by many as to how long does a c section take. Well, the fact is that it may vary from case to case and depend on the specialist too. But in general in 2 hrs time the process gets over. The mother also gets the chance to take the baby in lap after the C section process is over.
Reasons to have scheduled C-Section:
Planned C section childbirth may be recommended if:
- You are becoming a mother for the second time and already had cesarean last time having a classical vertical uterine incision. In such case, the level of risk is high as uterus may rupture at time of vaginal delivery.
- You are one such candidate who already underwent some invasive uterine surgery, like myomectomy for removal of fibroids. In such case there is an increase in risk and uterus may rupture at time of vaginal delivery.
- You are pregnant with twins or triplet or even more. More the number of babies you are carrying more are the chances that you will need a c-section depending on the duration of the pregnancy at the time of delivery and the position of the babies.
- Your baby is bigger in size due to a condition called macrosomia. In such condition, doctors do recommend a c-section especially when you’re diabetic and faced difficulty in delivering a baby last time through the vagina.
- Your unborn baby is positioned in breech or transverse pose. Commonly found in case of twin birth where one is head down and second one is breech. For breech baby doctor may recommend delivery vaginally.
- You already achieved full-term of pregnancy and you are having placenta previa. In such condition, the doctor will recommend for a planned C section as placenta being low in the uterus is actually covering the cervix.
- You already have some obstruction, in shape of the large fibroid, which may make the vaginal delivery quite difficult to manage and sometimes impossible too. Here also the doctor will recommend scheduled delivery with C section.
- In the worst case when the baby is already having a known malformation or an abnormality it may turn the vaginal birth risky, like defects of the open neural tube. The gynecologist will recommend a scheduled C section to save the mother from fatal and to avoid any further difficulty for the unborn child.
- You are detected with HIV-positive, and based on the reports of blood tests at the end of pregnancy displayed that you are having a very high viral load. The doctor will surely recommend C section which is scheduled one.
Reasons for having an unplanned c-section:
It may be the case that so far your doctor was encouraging you to have a normal delivery but due to certain medical needs you will be recommended for an unplanned c-section.
- If the mother is having a genital herpes outbreak when she is moved to the labor room or when the water breaks delivering the baby with c-section will support the doctor and mother to avoid any infection.
- When the mother cervix stops dilating or even when the baby stops moving down via birth canal, it attempts towards stimulating contractions. All efforts to make things moving again fail and in such situation the need for unplanned ceasarean birth arises.
Reasons to have emergency C section:
Sometimes situation does arise where continuing the labor turns critical for the health of the mother and the child.
- The baby’s heart rate can be a cause for danger to you and the specialist attending your case. If he or she gets the indication that it will be difficult for your baby to continue the labor or induction emergency C section will be recommended.
- When the mother’s umbilical cord gets slipped through cervix emergency C section will be recommended. If such incident happens the baby should get delivered immediately or it will stop the supply of oxygen which may lead to infant death.
- A situation does arise where placenta starts getting separated from the uterine wall which means the baby experiences lack of oxygen supply and should be delivered right away.
- If the doctor is making an attempt to make vaginal birth after ceasarean (VBAC) chances are seen for uterine rupture then emergency C section is a must.
What are the steps of the C section procedure?
C section procedure is a bit critical one and needs to be done step by step to make a successful child delivery. The call to go for a c section surgery can be taken before labor, which can be named as planned or scheduled cesarean. Preparing for c section needs to be taken very carefully to avoid any difficulty on the operation theater.
- In the first step, the decision needs to be taken as which type of c section will be ideal for the patient
- After the decision is taken in the next step anesthesia will be given either spinal or epidural. Once the injection is triggered you will be ready for the surgery. The initial incision will be done in the abdomen.
- Multiple layers of Incision will be done by the surgeon before they manage to reach the baby location. Expert doctors can take 10-15 mins time from starting the surgery to making the birth of the child. A perfect combination of sharp instruments and blunt dissection will be done by the experts. One may get some different smell as the use of machine may be made to cauterize small blood vessels for preventing bleeding.
- In next step suctioning of the amniotic fluids will be made. Upon reaching the Uterus the suctioning fluid will be taken out for making space for the doctor’s hand and other instruments to reach.
- Now it’s time to see the baby head. The baby remains in the pelvis with head down generally. Whatever be the part which enters the pelvis will be taken out by the doctors. A sense of pressure or nausea may be experienced by the mother. Once the head is out baby mouth and nose will be suctioned for fluids.
- Now it’s time for the dislodging of the shoulder and head of the baby. After proper suctioning of fluid is over the doctor will slowly and steadily take the pain to allow the rest body to born. Umbilical cord entanglement will be checked.
- Finally, the moment has arrived and the baby’s body is born. Baby will be shown to the mother and then will be taken for further cleaning and near to warmer. Baby weight, measurements, and Vitamin K will be checked. The doctor now needs to move attention and make the needed repair of the uterus and the layers that were cut. The process will take some 45 to 60 minutes in between which with the help of a midwife you can do breastfeeding after c section to the baby.
- Wound care is important in c section baby. After everything is over the surgeon will sew the incision to close. It will cover with a sterile bandage. The mother will be kept under check in post-op area to detect if the vital signs are stable or not and that mother is not bleeding too heavily. The mother will be shifted in normal bed and will be monitored for 3 to 4 more days before getting relieved from the hospital.
Are there any complications after a c section?
Some of the most common complications after c section:
- Heavy loss of blood
- Blood clotting either in the legs or the lungs.
- Nausea, vomiting, along with a severe headache after delivery
- Bowel problems and the intestine stops making smooth movements
- Injury to the bladder which can happen at the time of surgery.
- Maternal death due to heavy blood loss
- Injury at the time of delivery.
- Need for special attention in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU)
- Immature lungs
- Problems related to Breathing in the case due to date miscalculation or infant delivery is done before 39 weeks of gestation.
Pain after C section: In maximum cases women who underwent C section process for child delivery experience a significant reduction in pain after few days of the surgery and generally get healed after six weeks postpartum. But the different woman has different body and many women continue experiencing a severe pain after C section for a week or so after surgery, while others remain perfectly fine within few days of the process.
C-Section: Few Tips for making Fast Recovery from the surgery:
Undergoing C section for childbirth is quite hectic and stressful for the mother and yes, equally happy too when she takes her baby in her hand. To recover fast there are few tips which one must follow.
- Gee plenty rest: After staying in the hospital for 3-4 days you will be released and after that, you need to take minimum six weeks rest for full healing. Take time out to get some good sleep and that can be the best time for you other than the one when your baby is sleeping. Take help of relatives and spouse to change the diaper of the baby and to nurture the child.
- Love your body: You are out of a very stressful state and so it is important that you walk few extra miles to pamper your body. Avoid moving up and down of stairs too much this may cause pressure in your abdomen and you may bleed. Keep all necessary things for baby care close to you. Avoid lifting any type of heavy item this will again cause pressure in your belly. The weight which you can lift maximum should not be more than your baby’s weight. Go for a light walk with your spouse this will make your body exercise and easy for your bowels to move. You may feel emotional during this time so do not hesitate to speak your heart. Don’t have sex until the time you are advised by the doctor has lapsed.
- It is important to relieve the pain: Do not hold your pain and speak to your doctor regarding this. Ask for pain medicines which will be good for you to tale, especially in the case when you are on breastfeeding. Based on the amount of discomfort, the specialist will prescribe a pain reliever or advise you some exercise or other treatment for relief. Apart from pain medicine, one can take advantage of a heating pad to relieve any discomfort at the surgical site.
- Stay dedicated to quality and healthy food: Good nutrition for the mother is very important both before and after the pregnancy. After delivery, it becomes more important for you to stick to nutritious food as because you will be breastfeeding your baby who will get nutrition from you. Drink enough water to keep your body hydrated.
When should you call a doctor after a C section?
The below are few conditions in which you should call a doctor after C section:
- Having redness, swelling, or even if there is pus oozing out from the site of incision
- Feeling pain in and around the site of incision
- Having fever which is crossing 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit
- Getting foul-smelling discharge coming out from the vagina
- Facing heavy vaginal bleeding
- Having redness as well as swelling in the leg
- Facing difficulty at the time of breathing
- Chest pain
- Having pain in the breasts
Consider these things before deciding to have a C section. With the guidance of a qualified gynaecologist, make these considerations. Apart from gynaecologists, other professionals who are may be present in the operation theatre are an anaesthetist, Nurses, and a midwife. It is a combined effort of these professionals that helps deliver a successful C section baby to the mother.