Pregnant women should understand the basics about the C section
When you’re pregnant, you prepare yourself for a vaginal birth, but sometimes situations arise in which a cesarean section, or C section, is the safest way to give birth for you and your baby. Our experienced Grapevine and Alliance obgyns want every pregnant woman to learn about the C section so they will be ready if the situation arises.
When do women need to have a C section?
During pregnancy and labor, situations may arise that necessitate a C section because our expert physicians have decided that this procedure is the safest way to proceed. You may need a C section in these situations:
- You are carrying multiples.
- We notice a failure to progress, and the cervix is not dilating properly.
- Your baby is in an abnormal birth position, a breech or transverse presentation.
- Your baby is not getting enough oxygen or has an abnormal heart rate.
- There are issues with the placenta or umbilical cord.
- You have maternal high blood pressure or conditions such as HIV or herpes.
- You had a previous C section.
How is the procedure performed?
Your anesthesiologist will provide you with an epidural or spinal block, which allows you to stay awake during the procedure; or you may have general anesthesia. Epidural and spinal blocks numb the lower part of your body.
The physician makes an incision across the lower belly, followed by an incision in the uterus. After opening the amniotic sack, the physician reaches in and delivers your baby. During the delivery, if you have an epidural or spinal block, you will not feel pain, but you may feel some pressure, tugging or pulling. This entire procedure happens very quickly.
Our Grapevine and Alliance obgyns are experts at performing the C section procedure.
What to expect after the birth
After the baby is born, our physician removes the placenta and closes your incisions with staples or stitches. If you have an epidural or spinal block, you can usually hold your baby after giving birth. You are taken to either a recovery room or to your hospital room where medical staff can monitor your bleeding, your abdomen, blood pressure, breathing and pulse rate. Usually, you will need to stay in the hospital for two to three days after your C section.
Recovery typically takes four to six weeks. At home, you may need extra help caring for yourself and the baby, especially in the first couple of weeks. We recommend some restrictions. Do not lift heavy objects. Do not have sex until you talk to your physician; patients usually abstain from four to six weeks after giving birth.
Contact your physician if you experience signs of infection (fever, redness, swelling); vaginal discharge with an unpleasant odor; very heavy bleeding; or pain during urination.
If you need a C section, rest assured that you are in good hands with our Grapevine and Alliance obgyns and staff. We will keep you informed, from birth through your recovery and postpartum. Contact us to learn more.