Why women choose to go ahead with a c-section

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Category: Health and Medicine

Things to consider when choosing a c-section

Amongst the many decisions you will have to make when preparing for the birth of a baby is how you plan to give birth.  How you anticipate the birth to go, and how it actually unfolds might be poles apart, but you will have the opportunity to put forward your preferred birthing method.  You will, no doubt, have researched the process, asked advice and been given plenty more, whether you asked for it or not!  Everyone’s an expert it seems, and the conflicting advice and opinions can be overwhelming.  Whatever you decide upon, it’s your decision to make.  There may be many reasons why a woman might choose to have a c-section.  Here are just a few:-

If convenience is key

Knowing the time and date of the birth in advance has its advantages.  It allows you to be fully organised and prepared in other areas of your life.  You may have other children to consider, so planning childcare for when you are in hospital can be done ahead of the birth.  At least there will be no midnight dashes from the grandparents to babysit child number one while child number two is making a break for freedom!  If a birthing partner is to be present, they will have been able to arrange leave from work in plenty of time too.  All in all, from a planning point of view, it’s a really sound option.

Safety first

For many women, the decision about having a c-section has been an easy one to make.  If, for a medical or health reason, your doctor has advised this approach, then you would be wise to listen.  If you have an underlying medical condition that could be exacerbated by a strenuous and potentially traumatic natural birth, then a c-section can offer a safer alternative.  Knowing that you and your baby have the best chance of a safe delivery can ease stress levels and make the experience one to cherish.   If you are giving birth to multiple babies, a c-section is usually advised.  This is also the case if your baby is particularly large or in a difficult position.  It allows the medical team to put extra measures into place to ensure a happy outcome.  There’s no point adding more potential problems to an already complicated situation.

Fear and uncertainty

This is a common issue for many new and experienced mum’s.  Whether it’s your first baby, or you’ve been there, done that before, the choice of how to give birth remains yours to make.  Women who have given birth before may have had a traumatic experience, and a c-section is the best way for them to reduce stress levels and, for some, crippling fear.  The organised process of an elective c-section can transform a ‘mum to be’s’ acute anxiety into a much more pleasantly anticipated event.  For women who have already undergone a c-section, the likelihood is that they will be advised to take the same route again.  The safety of you and your baby are paramount, and the medical team will direct you towards the most appropriate birthing method.

Is a c-section the best option?

It’s a commonly held misconception that opting for a c-section is taking the easy way out.  Let’s be clear – a c-section involves major surgery which takes weeks to recover from.  It can limit your ability to carry on with normal life for a while, and it’s painful and leaves scarring. There is also the possibility of complications, such as infections and blood clots.  Skin, tissue and muscles are impacted during a c-section, and often the stomach cannot return to its previous shape and size.  The muscles in this area will, most likely, sit in a slightly different position than before, so it stands to reason that your stomach may look different on the outside too.  So much so that the tummy tuck procedure is popular amongst many women who have undergone a c-section.

How do I get my flat stomach back?

Plus size woman touching fat on belly · Free Stock Photo (pexels.com)

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that your surgeon can produce a flat stomach during a c-section!  They are two different operations, and the c-section is NOT a cosmetic procedure.  Remember, pregnancy will have stretched your stomach,  and there will likely be some loose skin following a c-section. Ideally, your body needs to recover from the c-section before you contemplate having a tummy tuck.  Some surgeons have begun to offer a combined c-section with tummy tuck, otherwise known as the c-tuck.  It is typically not recommended by surgeons.  Results are not as good for a start, but from a safety and recovery standpoint most agree it’s best to recover from one before going ahead with the next.

Can I have a c-section after a tummy tuck?

There is no reason why you can’t choose a c-section after you have had a tummy tuck.  Although some women prefer to wait until after they have finished having children, it is perfectly safe to have the tummy tuck before a c-section.  Your stomach will still be able to stretch in order to accommodate the growing baby, although it may feel a little tighter and the pregnancy may not be so visible early on.  Make sure your c-section surgeon is aware of your previous procedure.  There may be scar tissue that they need to work around, and they can also try to work with your tummy tuck incision marks,  so that there is minimal scarring following the c-section.

Whether you’ve chosen to have a c-section for health reasons, or if it just represents the ideal birth for you, you won’t be going into it without a wealth of information.  Ask questions, speak to friends and take your time over the decision.  There is no right or wrong when it comes to giving birth.  The safety and wellbeing of you and your baby should be at the forefront of any choice you make.  Be guided by the experts, know what to expect, and give yourself realistic time to recover.  No-one else will have exactly the same experience as you, but by doing plenty of research beforehand you should be in the right place to make a sensible, informed decision.