It took a lot for me to finally write this post. I'm very much against fear mongering, and firmly believe that fear has no place in the birth space. I finally decided that's exactly why I needed to put this information out there because it's not just one person's scary story, it's a close look at exactly what c-sections are. There are not enough people talking about this, including doctors, so I hope it can help you make a truly informed choice.
Nearly 1 in 5 birthing people had a c-section in Franklin county between 2015 & 2018.
Sit with that. 1 out of 5 birthing people had major abdominal surgery.
Not convinced this is a problem?
The decision to accept medical intervention should always be done with risks & benefits in mind.
What are the potential benefits of a c-section?
1. You've agreed to an induction using pitocin, they've given you too high of a dose making your contractions too powerful and frequent. This can cause baby's heart rate to drop.
Alternative: stop pitocin.
2. You've agreed to pitocin and your cervix was not ready causing failure to progress.
Alternative: stop pitocin.
3. You've had one or multiple c-sections.
Alternative: Attempt a trial of labor.
4. Your baby is positioned transverse (cross ways), or breech.
Alternative: Attempt spinning baby's techniques. If breech, only attempt a vaginal birth if your provider understands how vaginal breech birth works. A transverse baby who will not turn must be delivered by c-section.
5. If you're pregnant with multiples.
Alternative: attempt spinning the leading baby into a more ideal position.
6. Your placenta is covering your cervix.
Alternative: There's really no way around this one. If your placenta is too far over your cervix and labor has started, a c-section is the only option. Just know that your placenta will move as your uterus grows. A good provider will suggest an ultrasound at 36 weeks to determine the position of the placenta and determine a course of action from there.
7. Prolapsed cord (a loop of cord emerges before the baby).
Alternative: Unless your baby is very close to being born, c-section is the way to go. This is the advice given by OB's and midwives across the board.
What are the potential risks of a c-section?
Risks to baby
1. Breathing problems
2. Surgical injury
3. Trouble latching due to effects of anesthesia
Risks to you
1. Infection at incision, uterus or other parts of the body
2. Excessive blood loss
3. Injury to organs near to your uterus
4. Blood clots
5. Reactions to medications including anesthesia (numbing medication)
6. Trouble breastfeeding
7. Future c-sections more likely
If you're having a conversation with your doctor about a potential c-section and they are not laying out the risks and benefits for you to make a truly informed decision, either insist that they do or find a second opinion.
Having someone who is knowledgeable about birth help you build a birth plan can be very helpful if you are presented with the option to have a c-section during labor. A birth plan will have all of your preferences laid out for all of the most common scenarios so you won't be stuck attempting to make an informed choice while in the throws of labor. A great place to start with finding such a person is here
Another great resource to have is a birth doula. Think of your doula as your navigator and your birth plan as your map that you made together. A doula is there so you can focus fully on bringing your baby earth side, while offering ideas on how to help keep your birth as ideal as possible using your birth plan and their training as a guide. To review the birth doula services available to you click here
I'm a wife, mother of two, avid reader, doula, birth educator and an aspiring midwife. I grew up in Iowa, and my family and I moved to Columbus in 2019, and have decided to call it home.