Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: I was induced at 40 weeks. My baby was so to speak facing up, so I pushed for three hours, but because of my baby’s position, I ended up needing a C-section.
I tried as hard as I could to avoid that C-section, knowing the risks that they pose. I think a lot of people don’t realize those risks and go into labor thinking “Maybe a C-section would be better”
The reality is, the risks of a C-section are pretty significant. They are increased for babies and for moms. For example, babies often have trouble breathing after C-sections because they don’t have the compression of the thorax that they have when they go through the birth canal. This compression helps to clear their lungs of the fluid and mucous. Babies born by C-section have more tachypnea or fast breathing because of this, and they are more likely to go to the intensive care unit. Also, they have longer stays in the hospital when compared to babies born vaginally.
Moms who have C-sections have more bleeding and have a greater risk of infection,. They have a higher risk of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism which can cause death. They have a longer hospital stay and a much harder recovery.
There are also risks to subsequent pregnancies. Once you have that incision on the uterus there is always a weakness or scar there. This scar can open with any subsequent labor. This can be catastrophic during future deliveries
So as you can see I was resistant to have a C-section. I tried as hard as I could to deliver vaginally, but some babies just don’t fit through the pelvis and have to be delivered by C-section. C-section still isn’t’ something I’d consider doing electively with only a few rare exceptions.
—Nancy Thomas, MD, a mom of a 22-month-old son who practices general obstetrics and gynecology in a thriving practice in Covington, Louisiana, with Ochsner Health System