April is International Cesarean Awareness Month. It is dedicated to reducing unnecessary or preventable cesareans and supporting cesarean recoveries, founded by ican. C-Sections are sometimes necessary in an emergency which have helped to save the lives of mothers and babies however there are some reasons why to not have a c-section which include:
- Not always necessary – It is found that 1 in 4 mothers now have a c-section
- There is a risk of infection to the womb lining
- Baby could suffer from breathing difficulties after the procedure
- Longer recovery time
- Mother has a chance of excessive bleeding occurring
Ican, a charity founded in 1982, are advocates of reducing the number of cesarean births performed, supporting cesarean recovery, and advocating for vaginal birth after cesarean. Ican have found that preventable cesareans may be responsible for up to 20,000 major surgical complications a year, including sepsis, hemorrhage, and organ injury.
A cesarean section is a surgical procedure that should be performed when a vaginal delivery is not possible or safe for the mother or baby. It is a procedure where the baby is delivered through surgical incisions made in the abdomen and the uterus.
In the UK, around 1 in 4 women give birth via c-section, the majority being emergency c-sections. A choice throughout pregnancy can be made by a mother if they would like to have a planned c-section, but the majority do not choose this option. There are many reasons why a woman may have to give birth via c-section:
- Baby is in breech position
- Mother has a low-lying placenta
- You have pregnancy-related high blood pressure (pre-eclampsia)
- Baby is not getting enough oxygen and nutrients
- Labour is not progressing or there’s excessive vaginal bleeding
- Mother has asked for a planned c-section
It takes longer for the mother to recover after birth when having a c-section. The average duration in hospital is between 3 or 4 days whereas for a vaginal birth it is only 1 or 2 days. When returning home after, it is recommended to avoid certain activities, for example driving until your post-natal check-up at 6 weeks. With the physical recovery of a c-section being a long process in itself, there can also be mental impacts for a mother. Some mothers can suffer from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) due to often it being an emergency c-section.
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