The number of cesarean sections performed in America has steadily increased in recent years, with AmericanPregnancy.org reporting that you now have a one-in-four chance of delivering your baby via this method. As is the case with any surgery, you assume a certain level of risk by going under the knife, but when you have a C-section, your baby also faces unique risks.
If you have already delivered a baby in the past via a C-section, your doctors may advise you to do the same with subsequent births, in which case you may have time to research the procedure and familiarize yourself with associated risks. Many C-sections, however, are unplanned and scheduled because of emergency conditions, so it is wise to learn and recognize the risks before childbirth, even if you have no plans to deliver your child in this manner.
C-section risks for you, the mother
Anytime you have surgery, you run the risk of an infection, and the same holds true for C-section procedures. Some women who deliver their babies this way develop infections directly within their incision sites, while others develop them in other parts of their body, such as within their pelvic organs. You may also suffer injury to pelvic organs, such as your bladder, during the procedure, and this happens in about two out of every 100 C-section deliveries. You also face a higher risk of blood loss when you have a C-section as opposed to a standard, vaginal delivery, with somewhere between one and six women out of every 100 requiring blood transfusions following the procedure.
C-section risks for your baby
If you deliver your baby via a C-section, your baby is about 50 percent more likely to have low APGAR scores than he or she would after a regular birth. He or she may also have a low birth weight, particularly if your physician did not accurately estimate your child’s gestational age, and he or she is also more likely to experience breathing and respiratory issues because of your C-section delivery.
Anytime you have surgery, you face a certain degree of danger. Learning to recognize the specific risks you face can help you plan for the future and determine how to handle any potential problems that may arise.