What are the most common reasons for a C-section?

currently the c-section rate in the United States is about one and three and this includes women who had a c-section on their first baby and have subsequent c-sections and future pregnancies for their delivery one of the most common reasons is that the baby won't fit through the mothers pelvis so after hours and hours and hours of laboring either your cervix never changed or the baby number came down in the pelvis it is possible to get to 10 centimeters and push for 2 or 3 hours and then the decision is made to do a c-section because the baby's just not fitting and maybe we do the c-section the baby's 9 or 10 pounds and it's obvious that they weren't going to fit but sometimes the baby comes out in their normal size they're like seven and a half pounds and under those circumstances it may just be that the the mothers pelvis was abnormally small either way the head and the pelvis were not proportionate and it wasn't happening it's like trying to fit a square peg through a round hole no matter how you turn it it's just not going to fit so that by far is the most common reason for first-time mothers to have a c-section and then after having their first c-section many women want to know if it's possible to have a VBAC in the future or a vaginal birth after a c-section it may be but it depends on the circumstances and the reason for your first c-section and if the reason for the first was that the baby wouldn't fit then chances are none of your kids will fit and your doctor will probably recommend repeat c-sections in the future the second most common reason for a c-section is that the baby's not tolerating labor the baby gets oxygen and nutrients through the umbilical cord and through the placenta and blood flow through these structures can be affected during labor if it gets to the point that we determined that the baby is not getting enough oxygen then a c-section is necessary sometimes this is emergent and it's scary because things just happen very quickly and the staff doesn't have a lot of time to explain everything until after it's done if this happens to you then know that we can get your baby out quickly and get a good outcome from it sometimes it's not emergent though and we just get to a point where we're stuck between a rock and a hard place because in order to deliver vaginally you have to have contractions and if your baby isn't able to tolerate contractions meaning that the pattern of their heart rate is showing us that they're not well oxygenated maybe there's an issue with placenta with the umbilical cord or something then we stop contractions maybe we make an effort to start them again and see what happens and if we've done this enough and we've just determined the baby can't tolerate labor then you also have to have a c-section and like I said a lot of times this is an emergent but it does have to be done now a third reason for c-sections is that the baby is breech or their head is up near your ribs and not down in the pelvis and they don't fit well this way and they're also risk to delivering a baby vaginally when they're coming in the breech position if you've ever seen a newborn baby you probably noticed that most of their masses in their head and that needs to pave the way for the rest of their body to come and there's no better way to say it but if the baby's head is the last thing to come then the cervix can start to clamp around the head and it makes it makes delivery difficult and it can cause long-term problems for the baby so for this reason if your baby is in the breech position your doctor will recommend a c-section the good news is that by 37 weeks or full-term only 3% of babies are breech so that means that 97% of them have figured out how they're going to fit through the pelvis a fourth reason for c-sections is bleeding problems like maybe you had a placental abruption where the placenta starts to prematurely separate from the uterine wall and this can cause bleeding issues where the mother is losing blood the baby is not getting enough and under these circumstances when it's severe a c-section is necessary for the mothers and the baby's well-being there's also another issue called the placenta previa where the placenta has attached itself over the cervix and the cervix is the exit and the placenta is the baby's lifeline you can't deliver the baby's life line first in addition the placenta is highly vascular a lot of your blood flow is going to that spot every time your heart beats in order to feed your baby oxygen and nutrients and so if the cervix starts to open up at all if you start to contract and dilate then you can have a massive bleeding episode and of course this can put the mother and baby at risk too so if you have a placenta previa then a c-section is also necessary this is discovered at your 20 week routine ultrasound they look at the location of the placenta and if it's anywhere near the cervix then they do repeat ultrasounds to track its progress through the pregnancy it's not like the placenta can grow legs and move up the uterine wall but if you think of a balloon that has writing near the base of the balloon it appears to be lower until you blow up the balloon and then the words are pulled up the location of the words never changed but as the size of the balloon changes it pulls it up and that's the same thing that happens with the placenta and the uterus as the pregnancy progresses so sometimes it resolves thankfully most of the time placenta prevues that are noticed at 20 weeks resolved but in some cases they persist and delivery by c-section is necessary now these are the most common reasons for a c-section but there are a few others that are rare if you have any questions about your specific circumstances talk with your doctor and they'll be able to give you tailored advice and information about what to expect for your delivery now if you don't have any predetermined reasons for a c-section like a placenta previa or a breech baby then your doctor is going to allow you to try for a vaginal delivery but of course the plan may change over the course of Labor if it's looking like you need one like if you have heart tone issues or it's looking like the baby won't fit like I mentioned sooner keep in mind that c-sections are not the worst-case scenario and although there are risks associated with them a c-section is only done when the doctor determines that the risk to the mother and baby with this pregnancy at this point in time is higher if we do a vaginal delivery than if we do a c-section good luck with everything and if you have more questions for me in the future feel free to ask them on our facebook page at facebook.com/manila.usembassy

9 Replies to “What are the most common reasons for a C-section?”

  1. Cord is around baby neck and breech position also my height is very short only 4.4. Is this risky for me or not? I m very scared and in depress . Plz help me

  2. Good to know. Every woman in my family as far back as we know has had to have babies through c section I've had doctors tell me I probably will too

  3. I was in labor for 38 hours and my cervix never went to 10 cm. It stopped at 4 cm. My baby girl never descended down and didnt take the stimulation well

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