Elective CS – What Physicians Need to Tell New Mothers About It

Elective CS

Once a woman realizes that she has conceived, one of the first decisions she has to make earlier on in the pregnancy is how to deliver her baby.

Now, in the past, vaginal delivery was preferred by most women and considered the safest, but if current trends are anything to go by, that is no longer the case.

Younger new moms and even a few older ones would now rather schedule a C-section rather than go the old-school way.

Although cesarean delivery is common, it involves more risks than vaginal delivery but is generally considered safe. What, then, is your role as a physician regarding letting new mothers know about elective CS?

What’s an Elective C-section?

An elective CS is a planned cesarean surgery not prompted by an emergency. Most hospitals now allow this decision.

The modern woman prefers to give birth this way because it gives them more control over when the baby is born and how much pain they feel.

In this era of women’s empowerment, this is not surprising.

Why Would a C-section be Necessary?

Granted, most women choose to have C-sections because they want to avoid the pain that comes with labor and the anxiety of waiting for the baby to come suddenly.

However, there are other reasons why it may be necessary for a woman to go through elective CS. Here are some of the most common ones.

Abnormal Positioning

For an ideal vaginal birth, babies should be in a head-first position at the time of delivery.

Nevertheless, this does not always happen and is what doctors call a breech position. It can be difficult and sometimes risky to give birth vaginally if a baby is in a breech position.

As such, scheduling a C-section in such a case would be advisable.

Cephalopelvic Disproportion (CPD)

If a woman has a small pelvis, chances are that it will not be possible for them to deliver vaginally. Cephalopelvic disproportion occurs when a baby’s head is too large or the mother’s pelvis is too small for vaginal birth. This poses a safety risk and maybe therefore a reason to get a C-section.

Fetal Distress

Sometimes, the baby in a woman’s womb is not getting enough oxygen and this causes distress. If this is the case and is not attended to promptly, it increases the likelihood of the baby dying. Doctors may recommend an emergency cesarean if fetal distress is severe.

Cord Prolapse

The umbilical cord can slip through the cervix while the baby is still in the womb. This is known as cord prolapse, and it can hinder blood flow to the baby, thus putting them at risk.

Although this rarely happens, an emergency CS is the only way to remedy the situation.

Birth Defects

Suppose an ultrasound reveals that the baby in the womb has particular birth defects like congenital heart disease or excess fluid in the brain. In that case, they may recommend a C-section to reduce delivery complications.

Terminal Health Conditions

Chronic health conditions like gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease can make vaginal delivery dangerous for a woman.

In such a case, doctors may prescribe a C-section to reduce the chances of complications during delivery.

A C-section may be recommended if the mother has active genital herpes to prevent transmission to the baby; decisions for HIV and other conditions depend on specific circumstances.

Multiple Pregnancies

A multiple pregnancy poses several risks during delivery, including distress for the mother and prolonged labor.

Sometimes, the babies will even be in abnormal positions. Whatever it is, a C-section is always the safest way out.

Do C-sections come with Risks?

Most mothers and children come out of C-sections well even though it is a major surgical procedure. That said, it comes with more risks compared to a vaginal delivery including:

*Heavy blood loss

*Uterus and incision infection

*Injury to baby or mother

*Anesthesia side effects like headaches, vomiting, and nausea

*Breathing issues

*Longer hospital stays

Final Thoughts

Giving birth vaginally is preferable because of the faster healing time and the reduced risks associated with it. However, some pregnancy complications can necessitate the need for cesarean delivery.

If a mother prefers to have a C-section even without any medical conditions behind it, she should first weigh the pros and cons of doing so.

See Also

Free Samples for Doctor Offices

Non Clinical Physician Jobs

Pregnancy Grants for Unemployed

Current Version
September 10, 2021
Written By
Shubham Grover
April 14, 2024
Updated By
Franco Cuevas, MD

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