A cesarean section delivery is rarely a pregnant woman's first choice We know that postpartum care after a C-section is more difficult than recovering from a normal vaginal delivery. You'll also have a more challenging time breastfeeding or caring for your baby since you're also caring for your CS wound at the same time. Most moms who undergo a C-section do not have a choice. But if you want to be prepared for any possible scenario that could happen during childbirth, then here’s a walk-through of what happens during a C-section:
Typically, a C-section takes about 40 minutes to an hour to complete. Like in a birthing suite, your partner is allowed to stay with you in the operating room, but it's best to ask your birth hospital's policies. You will be given a catheter to drain your bladder and intravenous (IV) fluid for general anesthesia and other medication. Hospital drapes are put up as your doctor cleans and sterilizes your abdomen area, and then proceeds to make an incision in your abdomen and then your uterus to gently pull your baby out.
A C-section is a major operation, and when this becomes your sole childbirth option, you have very little control about what happens, which can leave you anxious. Is there anything else you have control over in a C-section? The answer to that is a yes, but with conditions. Here are four types of C-sections.
1. Traditional or Classical
This type of C-section lets the doctor deliver your baby the quickest, but it's also the one that's more prone to complications. It involves making a long vertical cut from the abdomen to the uterus. The long incision weakens the abdominal muscles and increases the risk for hernia post-surgery less common today. A traditional cut is reserved for quick deliveries like delivering pre-term babies. If you've had this, you will not be qualified for a vaginal birth after this C-section (VBAC).
2. Low Transverse Uterine Cut
Otherwise known as the bikini cut, which most moms prefer. The low-uterine cut is a horizontal one made just above the pubic hair line or the edge of the bladder (hence, the name; you can still wear a bikini without showing your scar). This is the most common C-section procedure done today because it results in less blood loss for the mom-to-be and will allow her to have a vaginal delivery in the future. If and when you need an emergency C-section, tell your doctor to give you a bikini cut as long as the time allows for the safe deliver of your baby. Otherwise, the doctor can also perform a low vertical cut, still just under your pubic hair line, to deliver your baby.
3. Natural C-section
Yes, there is such a thing, and it’s the closest to a natural vaginal delivery. In a natural C-section, or what medical experts tag as the "crawling out the baby" technique, the doctor gently helps the baby put his head out of your tummy after making the incision. Then, just like in a vaginal delivery, the baby would learn to breathe on his own, get rid of excess fluids in his lungs, and let out a good cry. Then, the doctor would let your baby crawl out of his mother's womb on his own.
This technique is common for women who get an elective C-section, or a planned scheduled birth surgery wherein you can choose the date and time of your baby's arrival. Since it's planned, you can discuss with your doctor requests like wanting to be awake and conscious throughout the procedure, get immediate skin-to-skin contact, and how to set the atmosphere in the surgery room. These are things that comprise a gentle C-Section which are not typically routine for a C-section procedure.
However, you cannot simply request your doctor to perform a C-section without a medical reason for it. Studies have shown ita planned C-section puts you at more risk than having an emergency C-section. A planned C-section is done only when you've had a previous C-section or your doctor deems it would be safer for you and your baby due to pregnancy complications you might have.
4. C-Section Hysterectomy
First, you should know that this is a lifesaving procedure. Second, it involves removing the uterus after delivering the baby via a C-section. A CS hysterectomy is done when the placenta cannot be separated from the uterine wall, or to prevent or stop you from bleeding profusely post-delivery. It is only performed when necessary.
This story originally appeared on SmartParenting.com.ph.
*Minor edits have been made by FemaleNetwork.com editors.