What are the indications that one needs a Cesarean?
Following are the commonest indications for a cesarian operation:
- Prolapsed cord (where the cord comes down before the baby)
- Placenta abruptio (where the placenta separates before the birth)
- Placenta previa (where the placenta partially or completely covers the cervix)
- Fetal malpresentation (transverse lie, breech )
- Cephalopelvic disproportion (CPD), meaning that the head is too large to fit through the pelvis
- Maternal medical conditions
- foetal distress,
- Repeat cesarean
What type of pain relief is offered before and after a cesarean?
- A regional anesthetic (epidural or spinal)
- A general anaesthetic
- A pre- operative sedative is usually avoided because it can reach the baby and make it difficult for the baby to breath.
- Post operatively pain can be reduced by medication.
What is the procedure for a cesarean?
The basic steps followed are:
- A catheter inserted to collect urine
- An intravenous line inserted
- An antacid for your stomach acids
- Monitoring leads (heart monitor, blood pressure)
- Anti-bacterial wash of the abdomen, and partial shaving of the pubic hair
- Skin Incision (vertical or midline(most common))
- Uterine Incision
- Breaking the Bag of Waters
- Disengage the baby from the pelvis
- BIRTH!!!! (Accomplished by hand, forceps, or vacuum extractor)
- Cord Clamping and cutting
- Newborn Evaluation
- Placenta removed and the uterus repaired
- Skin Sutured (Usually the top layers will be stapled and removed within 2 weeks.)
- You will be moved to the Recovery Room (If the baby is able s/he can go with you.)
Can I breast feed if I had a cesarean?
Certainly you can. It may take some more effort on your part, but do not hesitate to ask for help. Start breast feeding as soon as possible
If I had one cesarean (or more!), will I have to have another cesarean?
Recent studies have shown that there was an over 80% success rate for Vaginal Birth After Caesarian.
Revision date: July 7, 2011
Last revised: by Jorge P. Ribeiro, MD