What is a cesarean section?
A cesarean section, or C-section, is when your baby is delivered through an incision in your abdomen.
Why might I need a cesarean section?
You may need a C-section if you or your baby have any of the following problems:
- Breech position: This is when your baby is positioned with his bottom facing down. This is also when your baby is horizontal or diagonal in your uterus. This can happen when you are pregnant with one baby or multiple babies. These positions make it impossible for the baby to be delivered vaginally.
- Previous C-section: The incision made in your uterus during a previous C-section may leave a weak spot in your uterus. This can cause problems with labor and delivery in pregnancies that follow.
- Failure to progress: This is when your labor has slowed or stopped, or your labor contractions are not strong enough.
- Cephalopelvic disproportion: This is when your pelvis is too small for your baby's head or body to fit through.
- Fetal distress: This is when your baby has a slow heartbeat or other problems during your labor.
- Prolapsed cord: This is when the umbilical cord comes out before the baby during a vaginal delivery. The cord can get squeezed and stop the blood flow to your baby. It can also block your baby's delivery or wrap around his neck.
- Abruptio placenta: This is when the placenta breaks away from the wall of the uterus before the baby is born. This can cause bleeding, and may decrease the amount of oxygen getting to your baby.
- Placenta previa: This is a problem where the placenta is too low in your uterus. It may be too close to your cervix or even cover your cervix (opening of the uterus).
- Birth defects: Some birth defects can cause problems for a baby being delivered through the vagina.
You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.
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