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Why You May Need A C-Section

April 19, 2016

A cesarean section, also called a C-section, is a surgical procedure in which incisions are made in a woman’s abdomen to deliver a baby. The entire procedure takes 45 minutes to an hour, but requires a hospital stay of three to five days after the surgery. Full recovery from a C-section typically takes six to eight weeks.

What to Expect Before and After A C-Section – WATCH THE VIDEO

Because of the lengthy recovery time associated with C-sections and the risk of complications to the mom and baby, many women wish to deliver vaginally. Despite best intentions to follow the birth plan, there are several scenarios where a C-section might be necessary to protect the health and safety of both the mom and baby.

Placenta Abruption1

The placenta grows with your baby. It is located in the uterus and supplies your baby with food and oxygen through the umbilical cord. When placenta abruption presents, the placenta separates before the baby is born. This can deprive the baby of oxygen and nutrients and cause heavy bleeding for the mother. Placenta abruption typically occurs suddenly and puts both the mom and baby at risk.

Placenta Previa2

In most pregnancies, the placenta attaches to the side or the top of the mother’s uterus. When the mother has placenta previa, the uterus attaches to the lower part of the uterus and the placenta grows and covers the cervix, either partially or completely. Placenta previa may resolve itself naturally. However, if the placenta is across the cervix, especially near the time of delivery, a C-section may be needed. Doctors can usually identify this condition as early as the second trimester. Health care providers can monitor the mom and baby to reduce the risk of severe bleeding.

Prolapsed Cord3

The umbilical cord is your baby’s lifeline to you. It is a tube-like structure that transports nutrients to your baby and carries away the baby’s waste. Prior to or during delivery, the umbilical cord may come down through the cervix and into the vagina before the baby. During labor and delivery the prolapsed cord may become compressed. This deprives the baby of nutrients and oxygen needed for his or her survival. An ultrasound or fetal heart monitor may be used to help detect a prolapsed umbilical cord and its effects on the baby’s health. When a baby’s heart rate is affected, a C-section may be necessary.

Fetal Malpresentation4

Near delivery, most babies settle into an occiput-anterior position. This means that the baby’s head is down and its face is toward the mother’s back; one side of the baby’s back faces the mother’s stomach. This position lines up the baby to fit through the mother’s pelvis as easily as possible. Fetal malpresentation occurs when the baby is in a breech or transverse position.

A breech malpresentation occurs when the baby’s feet face down toward the birth canal. This position does not always require a C-section, although your health care provider may recommend it. A transverse malpresentation occurs when the baby is lying sideways, with its head and feet facing the mother’s flanks. Unfortunately a baby cannot be born vaginally in a transverse malpresentation. Unless the baby can be rotated, a C-section would be necessary. 

Dyscotia in Cephalopelvic Disproportion (CPD)5

Dyscotia is a condition where labor and delivery do not progress. Cephalopelvic Disproportion (CPD) occurs when the baby’s head or body is too large to fit through the mother’s pelvis. According to the American Pregnancy Association, CPD is rare but often over-diagnosed. A small or irregular shaped maternal pelvis can cause CPD. Other possible causes of CDP include heredity and diabetes. Under these circumstances, the baby grows too large to pass through the birth canal.   

Multiple Births4

Multiple births alone do not require a C-section. Mothers who are delivering multiple babies can deliver vaginally with the assistance of an experienced health care provider. However, pregnancies with multiple babies are at greater risk for complications. In addition, malpresentation occurs in 5 percent to 15 percent of multiple births.   

Maternal Medical Conditions

There are several maternal medical conditions that can cause fetal distress, making a C-section necessary. Infections, severe hypertension, and diabetes are a few examples.

Infections and diseases, including herpes or HIV, may require delivery by C-section. The biggest concern is that the infection or disease may be transmitted to the baby during delivery. However, recent developments in antiviral medications may reduce the risk of transmission during delivery.

Both preexisting diabetes (type 1 or type 2) and gestational diabetes can contribute to the baby growing exceptionally large.6,7 Similarly preexisting hypertension (high-blood pressure) and preeclampsia can cause fetal distress, making a C-section necessary.8,9 Diabetes and preeclampsia can cause the baby to have low birth weight (under 5 pounds) or placental abruption.6-9

Prenatal Nutrition

Unfortunately, it’s not possible to eliminate the need for all C-sections. But you can take steps to reduce their risk of diabetes, hypertension and other medical conditions that make the potential for a C-section more likely. Women who are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant should start practicing healthy habits. While a balanced diet is preferred, some women may have trouble meeting their daily recommended intakes for certain vitamins and minerals.

Because every pregnancy is different, the Prenate® Vitamin Family includes a line of prenatal vitamins designed to meet the specific nutritional needs of mothers and their babies. The nutrient forms in Prenate® vitamins are selected for absorption and tolerability. The vitamins are taken once daily, with gluten-free and lactose-free options. Talk to your doctor to see which Prenate® prenatal vitamin may be the right choice for you to help fill nutritional gaps.

THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN EVALUATED BY THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. THIS PRODUCT IS NOT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT, CURE OR PREVENT ANY DISEASE.

REFERENCES

1. Mayo Clinic. Placental Abruption. Retrieved on April 6, 2016 from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/placental-abruption/basics/definition/con-20024292 2. Mayo Clinic. Placenta Previa. Retrieved on April 6, 2016 from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/placenta-previa/basics/complications/con-20032219 3. Cleveland Clinic. Diseases & Conditions: Umbilical Cord Prolapse. Retrieved on April 6, 2016 from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases_conditions/hic_Am_I_Pregnant/hic_Premature_Labor/hic_Umbilical_Cord_Prolapse  4. Chamberlain, G., & Steer, P. (1999). Unusual presentations and positions and multiple pregnancy. BMJ : British Medical Journal, 318(7192), 1192–1194. Retrieved on April 6, 2016 from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1115589/ 5. Cephalopelvic Disproportion (CPD). American Pregnancy Association Website. Retrieved on April 6, 2016 from http://americanpregnancy.org/labor-and-birth/cephalopelvic-disproportion/. 6. Preexisitng Diabetes. March of Dimes Website. Retrieved on April 6, 2016 from http://www.marchofdimes.org/complications/preexisting-diabetes.aspx. 7. Gestational Diabetes. March of Dimes Website. Retrieved on April 6, 2016 from http://www.marchofdimes.org/complications/gestational-diabetes.aspx 8. Preeclampsia. March of Dimes Website. Retrieved on April 6, 2016 from http://www.marchofdimes.org/complications/preeclampsia.aspx. 9. High blood pressure during pregnancy. March of Dimes Website. Retrieved on April 6, 2016 from http://www.marchofdimes.org/complications/high-blood-pressure-during-pregnancy.aspx.

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IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

WARNING: Accidental overdose of iron-containing products is a leading cause of fatal poisoning in children under 6. Keep this product out of reach of children. In case of accidental overdose, call a doctor or poison control center immediately.

WARNING: Ingestion of more than 3 grams of omega-3 fatty acids (such as DHA) per day has been shown to have potential antithrombotic effects, including an increased bleeding time and International Normalized Ratio (INR). Administration of omega-3 fatty acids should be avoided in patients taking anticoagulants and in those known to have an inherited or acquired predisposition to bleeding.

This site and its contents are an information resource only, and are neither intended to nor should be used in replacement of your doctor or other prescribing professional’s medical guidance, recommendations or advice. Neither this site nor its information should be used or relied upon for any diagnostic, medical, treatment, nutritional or other purpose. All aspects of pregnancy, including whether pregnancy is right for you, and the nourishment and care of your child, should be made with your doctor and other appropriate medical professional, and in consideration of your and your child’s particular medical history. Avion Pharmaceuticals, LLC (“Avion”) makes no representation, warranty or other undertaking that this site or its information are appropriate for you or your child’s specific needs or issues, and further expressly disclaims all damages, losses, injuries or liability whatsoever incurred or alleged to have been incurred in consequence of your reliance on the information on this site. Avion does not endorse any test, procedure, treatment, remedy, therapy, cure, nutritional regimen, method or other activity or undertaking that you and/or your doctor or other medical professional may elect or recommend. By visiting this site you agree to these terms and conditions and acknowledge that you have read and understand the same. These terms and conditions, together with any information on this site, may be amended, restated or otherwise changed from time to time and at any time by Avion within the sole, absolute and uncontrolled exercise of its discretion. You acknowledge and agree that Avion has no duty or obligation to keep you informed of any amendments to, restatements of or other changes to these terms and conditions or this site, and that you are solely and exclusively responsible for apprising yourself of the same.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

WARNING: Accidental overdose of iron-containing products is a leading cause of fatal poisoning in children under 6. Keep this product out of reach of children. In case of accidental overdose, call a doctor or poison control center immediately.

WARNING: Ingestion of more than 3 grams of omega-3 fatty acids (such as DHA) per day has been shown to have potential antithrombotic effects, including an increased bleeding time and International Normalized Ratio (INR). Administration of omega-3 fatty acids should be avoided in patients taking anticoagulants and in those known to have an inherited or acquired predisposition to bleeding.

This site and its contents are an information resource only, and are neither intended to nor should be used in replacement of your doctor or other prescribing professional’s medical guidance, recommendations or advice. Neither this site nor its information should be used or relied upon for any diagnostic, medical, treatment, nutritional or other purpose. All aspects of pregnancy, including whether pregnancy is right for you, and the nourishment and care of your child, should be made with your doctor and other appropriate medical professional, and in consideration of your and your child’s particular medical history. Avion Pharmaceuticals, LLC (“Avion”) makes no representation, warranty or other undertaking that this site or its information are appropriate for you or your child’s specific needs or issues, and further expressly disclaims all damages, losses, injuries or liability whatsoever incurred or alleged to have been incurred in consequence of your reliance on the information on this site. Avion does not endorse any test, procedure, treatment, remedy, therapy, cure, nutritional regimen, method or other activity or undertaking that you and/or your doctor or other medical professional may elect or recommend. By visiting this site you agree to these terms and conditions and acknowledge that you have read and understand the same. These terms and conditions, together with any information on this site, may be amended, restated or otherwise changed from time to time and at any time by Avion within the sole, absolute and uncontrolled exercise of its discretion. You acknowledge and agree that Avion has no duty or obligation to keep you informed of any amendments to, restatements of or other changes to these terms and conditions or this site, and that you are solely and exclusively responsible for apprising yourself of the same.

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