Is Caesarean Section A Yay or Nay?

Every pregnant woman just wants to have a safe delivery and bring a healthy baby into the world. Also, to be safe and healthy enough to care for that child.
This is also the desire of healthcare professionals hence they help you to choose the most suitable option for the birth of your child. Caeserean Section is not a taboo and women should not be discouraged from accessing one as lives have been lost due to this poor knowledge of the procedure.

What Is A Caesarean Section?
A Caesarean section is a surgical procedure that involves the birth of a baby through an incision in the abdomen and uterus (Ugwu, Obioha, Okezie, & Ugwu, 2011). This is a life-saving obstetric operation that may be required (and often the only viable choice) in high-risk pregnancies such as those with multiple or large fetuses, breech presentations, obstructed labor, and in women with HIV/AIDS (Lujiao Huang, 2021). Cesarean birth is a major operation with a greater risk of complications just like any other major surgery.
A woman having her child via a CS does not make her a weakling, faithless(not being able to deliver like the Hebrew women) or simply lazy as some would say.

According to recent WHO figures, the global rate of C-sections has increased from around 7% in 1990 to 21% in 2019, and is likely to rise further over the next decade (Betran, Ye, Moller, Souza, & Zhang, 2021)

There are genuine reasons why a CS will be the best option for birthing a child.

When Can A CS be done?

Examples of scenarios where a CS can/should be done include but are not limited to:
1. A big baby(with an estimated fetal weight of > or = 4kg)
2. Multiple fetuses(twins, triplets, etc)
3. A prolonged or obstructed labour
4. Breech presentation(legs or buttocks) or a transverse lie.
5. A mother who is HIV infected
6. A small pelvis(the birth canal) which can hinder progression of labour or lead to injuries.
7. A previous delivery by CS
8. Placental abnormalities, etc

Some of these indications are maternal while others are fetal(related to the child in the womb).

Caeserean sections could be elective or occur as emergencies.
An Elective CS is one in which the indication was noticed during the Antenatal Care of the patient and she has been prepared for it. Such a woman is not allowed to go into labour before the CS Is done.
On the other hand, an Emergency CS is one in which the decision is made just before or during labour, mostly secondary to a complicated vaginal delivery or to save the mother’s life in a case of pre-eclampsia(severe hypertension in pregnancy).

Benefits Of Having A CS

1. Experience a shorter and faster delivery of the baby.
2. Less risk of perineal tear or episiotomy for the mother.
3. Less risk of urinary or fecal) incontinence (leaking of urine or faeces) due to injury of pelvic muscles after a tear.
4. Reduced risk of prolapse of pelvic organs due to weakened pelvic muscles.
5. A CS can be scheduled hence is more predictable and convenient.
6. It takes away the risk of complications for the mother and baby due to a health condition(in the mother).

Drawbacks Of Having A CS
1. It is more expensive.

2. All deliveries after that one will have to be by CS, though there is a room for a VBAC(Vaginal Birth After Caeserean) or a TOLAC(Trial Of Labour After Caesarean). This can only be done for the immediate delivery after the CS, and once it fails, it must be converted to a CS and no more trial for subsequent deliveries.

3. Prolonged hospital stay after delivery(5 to 7 days) unlike vaginal delivery where the mother can be discharged in 24-48 hours or less after delivery.

4. Inability to commence breastfeeding immediately after birth as the effect of anesthesia will have to wane to prevent the child from suffering its effect. Also because the mother will be in pain and cannot seat up to breastfeed.

5. Risk of infection and bleeding from surgical wound.

6. Risk of uterine rupture(bursting of uterus from previous scar) in subsequent pregnancies and the cosmetic demerit of having to live with an incision scar on the skin.

7. Risk of complications from anesthesia.

In summary, Caesarean Section is not a taboo and can really be a life saver for the mother and child. It’s a yay. However, having a vaginal delivery remains the most recommended means of childbirth.

A beautiful well-healed scar after a CS

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