Caesarean birth or vaginal birth – a guide for pregnant women


This press release was originally distributed by ReleaseWire

Salt Lake City, UT – (ReleaseWire) – 01/17/2022 – Pregnant women may wonder where and how to deliver their baby, as well as the method of delivery – vaginal or cesarean section.

The body is designed for vaginal birth and most babies are born vaginally. But, babies can also be born surgically, through an incision in the abdomen, called a cesarean section or cesarean section.

“Sometimes a cesarean section is necessary to protect the health of the baby or the mother or both, and other times patients simply prefer a cesarean delivery,” said Helen Feltovich, MD, maternal-fetal medicine physician. and OB/Gyn, which cares for patients with high-risk pregnancies, which is part of Intermountain Medical Group, based in Salt Lake City, UT.

According to Feltovich, a vaginal birth has several advantages, as women generally recover faster after a vaginal birth and their hospital stays will be shorter.

However, there are common reasons why a scheduled C-section may be recommended, such as:

– The baby is in a breech position (feet first or buttocks first) or transverse (on the side), rather than in a cephalic position (head down).

– Placenta previa—the placenta covers all or part of the opening of the birth canal.

– Maternal infection that the baby can get if delivered vaginally, such as HIV or active genital herpes.

– Multiple gestation (being pregnant with more than one baby).

– A vertical incision on the uterus following a cesarean section or previous uterine surgery.

– More than two previous caesareans.

– The baby’s head cannot pass through the mother’s pelvis.

– The baby has a large birth defect that could rupture during vaginal delivery.

Feltovich said sometimes C-sections are unplanned but become necessary due to complications during labor or delivery and can include the following scenarios:

– Labor stops or does not progress, or the baby cannot pass through the pelvis.

– Placental abruption (the placenta detaches too soon from the uterine wall, cutting off the baby’s oxygen).

– The umbilical cord is pinched or falls into the birth canal before the baby, which can reduce the oxygen supply to the baby.

– Changes in the baby’s heart rate which suggests the baby may not be getting enough oxygen

“Childbirth in an operating room is different from childbirth in a hospital room. And although a caesarean section is a surgical procedure, it is primarily a childbirth, and it is the objective. Patients are almost always awake and usually have their partner right next to them. . Mom and her partner can see and touch the baby, similar to a vaginal birth,” she added.

With a caesarean delivery at Intermountain Hospitals, as soon as the medical team is sure the baby is stable, moms can hold their baby. Skin-to-skin contact as early as possible is encouraged to promote bonding, whether the baby is born vaginally or by caesarean section.

“A caesarean delivery is major abdominal surgery and, like all surgery, it has some risks. If it is optional, your doctor or midwife can help you assess whether the benefits of a caesarean section outweigh the risks. If there are indications, your provider will explain them to you,” Feltovich said.

Once you have a caesarean, you have the choice of whether or not to have a caesarean in the future, or to try a VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean). After having had two C-sections, it is generally not recommended to attempt a vaginal birth.

“With any surgery, there are risks of possible complications such as infection, damage to the bladder or bowel, blood clots and, in rare cases, brain damage or death. However, good many of these risks apply to pregnancy or childbirth in general and they are very, very low.Risks to the baby include an increased risk of breathing problems and extreme drowsiness may occur in the unusual event that anesthesia general is needed,” Feltovich said.

The cesarean section rate in the United States is a public health concern because of the small increased risk of complication and increased length of hospitalization. The average stay is two days for a vaginal delivery and 3 to 4 days for a cesarean section.

“Intermountain Healthcare was an early adopter of the national recommendations to reduce the cesarean section rate for American women and has one of the lowest cesarean section rates in the nation. That said, patients sometimes need to undergo a cesarean section for their safety or that of their baby. Intermountain is committed to following evidence-based recommendations for cesarean delivery, while respecting patients’ wishes for how their baby will be delivered,” added Feltovich.

A vaginal birth after caesarean (VBAC) is possible for anyone who has had only one or two caesarean deliveries. There is a small but serious risk of rupture of the uterus during a VBAC delivery because the uterus has a scar from the previous surgery. Speak with your provider about your specific medical history to see if you are a candidate for a VBAC delivery. Factors involved in the decision include the reason for your previous C-section; the type of uterine incision (if it was low on the stomach and done side by side, you are more likely to try VBAC); the date of your last delivery (less or more than 18 months ago) and other factors.

Dr. Feltovich offers the do’s and don’ts of c-section recovery.

To do:
– Take time to sit down and bond with your baby.
– Rest when you are tired.
– Walk daily to maintain strength and prevent blood clots and constipation.
– Hold a pillow over your incision when you need to cough or laugh to be more comfortable.
– Shower normally (or take a bath after two weeks).
– Eat healthy
– Drink plenty of water and fluids.
– Take a fiber supplement daily to avoid constipation.

Not :
– Lift anything heavier than your baby.
– Use tampons or douche for at least six weeks.
– Take baths for about two weeks, until your incision has healed.
– Participate in vigorous activities or core muscle exercises until recommended by your doctor.
– Have sex until your body feels ready (at least two weeks).
– Don’t be afraid to ask friends or family for help.
– Soak in public pools or spas for at least six weeks.
– Emergency diet

Cesarean section incision care:

– Keep the incision area dry and clean.
– Use warm soapy water to gently wash your incision every day (usually when you shower).
– Dry the area after cleaning.
– If your doctor used strips of tape on your incision, let them fall off on their own. It usually takes about a week.

When to call your doctor:

– Depression, sadness, despair or troubling thoughts.
– Signs of infection, including pain, pus, swelling, redness, swollen lymph nodes
– Fever over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit.
– Difficulty breathing.
– Vaginal discharge that smells bad.
– Severe stomach pains.
– Bright red vaginal bleeding that passes through more than one pad in two hours or less.
– Vaginal bleeding that gets worse or is still bright red more than four days after birth.
– Signs of a blood clot, including pain in the thigh, groin, back of the knee or calf.
– The incision opens.
– Nausea or vomiting.
– Vaginal blood clots larger than a golf ball.
– Difficulty urinating or bowel movements.

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About Intermountain Healthcare
Located in Utah, Idaho and Nevada, Intermountain Healthcare is a non-profit system of 25 hospitals, 225 clinics, the Intermountain Medical Group with some 2,700 employed physicians and advanced care practitioners, a division of health plans health called SelectHealth, Homecare and other health services. By helping people live the healthiest lives possible, Intermountain is committed to improving community health and is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare using evidence-based best practices to provide consistently high quality results at sustainable costs. For updates, see

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