You plan for a normal vaginal delivery, yet about one third of all births are by C-section, and most of those are for a medical reason. In other words, you should learn about C-sections so that you’re prepared for the unexpected. Dr. Judy Wei and her team at Capri Medical have many years of experience performing vaginal and Cesarean deliveries, and they take time to talk about the procedure and answer questions. Please don’t hesitate to call their office in Irvine, California, or schedule an appointment online for prenatal care.
C-Section Q & A
What are the reasons women may need a C-section?
Caesarean section, or C-section, is a surgical procedure used to deliver a baby when a vaginal birth isn’t possible or when the health of the mother or the baby is at risk. A C-section can be elective surgery – a choice made for personal reasons or because a vaginal delivery shouldn’t be attempted.
For many women, a C-section is performed when a vaginal delivery doesn’t progress or when problems arise during labor. It can also become an emergency decision to protect the mother and baby’s health.
Some of the most common reasons for a C-section include:
Multiple pregnancies: Likelihood of a C-section increases with the number of babies
Failure to progress: Cervix may not dilate enough
Fetal distress: Pinched umbilical cord or abnormal heart rate
Placenta problems: Detached or covering the cervix
Maternal medical condition: Diabetes or high blood pressure
Maternal infection: Herpes or HIV
Baby too large
What should you expect during a C-section?
If your C-section is planned, your doctor schedules a time for the surgery, and you check into the hospital. After going through all the usual procedures, such as paperwork, taking vitals, and discussing anesthesia, you’re prepped for surgery and taken to the obstetric surgical suite.
Whether your surgery is planned or a decision made during labor, anesthesia is administered, and your doctor at Capri Medical makes an incision in your lower abdomen, often a “bikini” incision beneath the belly button. Then an incision is made in the wall of the uterus, and the doctor lifts your baby out of the uterus.
A planned C-section many take 10-15 minutes, with an additional 45 minutes for delivery of the placenta and suturing the incisions. If it’s an emergency, the time from incision to delivery takes about two minutes.
Can you have a vaginal delivery after a Caesarean section?
It is possible to have a vaginal delivery after a C-section, so don’t hesitate to talk with your doctor at Capri Medical about a trial of labor after Cesarean (TOLAC). The concern about vaginal delivery after a C-section is that incision site creates a weak area in your abdominal muscles that could rupture during a vaginal delivery.
The type of incision you had for your C-section is a major factor to consider when deciding whether TOLAC is safe to attempt. If your doctor agrees it’s safe for you to try, it’s encouraging to know that about 60% of women who attempt TOLAC have a successful vaginal delivery.