I finally have some time to share with you my thoughts on the pros and cons of an elective cesarean birth. Some say it’s the easier option but is it really? Some say it’s because you are ‘too posh to push’, but elective c sections carry many risks.
So this being my third pregnancy, following two previous emergency cesareans the recommendation was to schedule an elective cesarean. The risks associated with a repeat cesarean increase and include: (I have marked the ones I experienced^)
• potential of uterine rupture.
• anaesthesia complications
• injury to bladder and intestines
• blood clots
• cardiac arrest
• excessive bleeding.
• respiratory distress in baby^
• increases risk of placenta accreta
• increase risk of placenta previa
• difficulty breastfeeding^
• future fertility issues
• chronic pain from scar tissue
• linger recovery time
The risks that impacted baby and I were resolved and as you can see she is well and thriving now.
Although we did have a stint in the neonatal intensive care unit to address concerns like the jaundice amongst other conditions that developed. As a result of difficulty breastfeeding, Kiera was diagnosed with hypoglycaemia, dehydration, jaundice and she dropped about 500grams from her already small birth weight. The hypoglycaemia also caused jitteriness and an occasion where she stopped breathing. This was the most frightening time for me but having the longer hospital stay because of the cesarean, we were both in the best place for prompt treatment.
Well now that we have the scary part out of the way, there are clear benefits to an elective cesarean which is the primary reason your obstetrician would advise you to consider it. First and foremost is the careful evaluation of what is safest for mother and baby medically, then other potential benefits are:
• No labour pains
• No tearing or episiotomies
• A specific date and time to expect baby, this way you can organise childcare for any older children and also have a better idea of when to begin maternity leave.
• If you choose to wear makeup (some obstetricians advise against this) and have a blow dry it’s pretty much still immaculate for your first time photos following birth.
• No bruising from tearing or from stitches to perineum
• No vaginal trauma
• reduced risk of urinary incontinence
• reduced risk of fecal incontinence
• alleviation of fear or anxiety in relation to vaginal birth
• reduced risk of foetal heart rate abnormalities
• reduced risk of cord prolapse
• reduced risk of unexpected still birth
• reduced chance of an emergency cesarean if a vaginal birth was planned.
• more autonomy over the date of birth
• less likely to experience heavy bleeding following birth
• can be a loving experience between mom and dad as dads are usually positioned next to mum in theatre holding her hand.
Having said all that if you are considering an elective cesarean it is always best to discuss it thoroughly with your obstetrician to decide on the safest option for both mother and baby.