elective c-section help

Ania - posted on 02/24/2012 ( 17 moms have responded )




Help, my friend wants to go for an elective c-section, because she was unhappy with her first experience - was pushing for 2 hours and needed oxygen . I need research on risks for her and baby. I want her to make informeed decision. But I don't want articles I need research


Mrs. - posted on 02/24/2012




Yeah, I get she wants her friend to make "an informed decision", but there is a wee bit of judgement I'm reading from comments like the following, which lead me to believe she might be overstepping her boundries:

"She didn't do the reasearch at all. That's what annoys me."


"That's what happens when people don't do enough research."

Really, just because a woman doesn't pour over the net does not mean she hasn't gone over the risks and health issues that apply to her individually with her OBGYN, the nursing staff, her family members or possibly a midwife. Some people trust the judgement of their doctor and medical team over say the net, books or friends.

Who's to say the OP's ideas of what makes an "informed decision" or when something has been "well researched" are any better than her friend's way of getting information? And why should it "annoy" the OP if her friend made a decision with, I'm going to assume is a qualified OBGYN who went to medical school at all that, instead of with links about c-sections from CoMs?

Mrs. - posted on 02/24/2012




I think it is a person's personal choice and even with a friend, you may not know all of her personal medical issues. That's for her and her OBGYN to figure out. It is important to be an informed patient, but I wouldn't judge someone for trusting the arrangements they've made with their birth team.

You never know the trauma people go through in their bodies. This may be a way to relieve an enormous amount of anxiety of trauma she suffered before or after the birth. It is dangerous to be that anxious and stressed about the upcoming birth. Sometimes the pros of avoiding the emotional issues wrapped up in a vaginal delivery are worth it.

You just never know.

Personally, I'm not sure, if I made a choice about it, if I'd feel super open to someone insisting on sending me links and studies. I'd find it a bit intrusive if I didn't ask for it.

Mary - posted on 02/25/2012




Her body - her choice.

If she asks for your opinion or advice, have at it. If not, it's probably wisest to keep your opinion to yourself.

I'm guessing there is a bit more to her story than just two hours of pushing with O2 to make her want a section.

I'm all for empowering women to have a voice in their birth plans and experience - but that includes those who want an operative delivery.

[deleted account]

Elective c-sections annoy me. Why subject yourself and your child to the risks associated with major surgery when it's not necessary?

In addition to what Jaime already cited, I would add that a c-section is a tough recovery -- particularly if she already has one at home. Plus, the dirty little secret of c-sections is that they cause adhesions in your abdominal cavity, which can cause pain and vastly complicate later deliveries. My c-section scar hurt for two years after my first c-section. I was told by my OB that one to two years is normal for incisional pain from that type of surgery. NORMAL.

Hemorraging is also a greater risk with a c-section -- I started hemorraging after my second c-section. Trust me --you can not even imagine the unbelievable pain you will be in if they have to try to massage the uterus they just cut open in an attempt to stop the bleeding.

Lady Heather - posted on 02/24/2012




I don't know the whole circumstances. Two hours pushing with some oxygen doesn't sound bad to me, but it must have been pretty awful if she wants a c-section!

To be honest, while I enjoyed my vaginal birth and don't think surgery should be entered into lightly, I really enjoyed my c-section and recovered much more quickly. I won't do a vbac if I get pregnant again somehow. Mine was "elective". That's what they called it. I didn't so much see it that way and I don't give a shit who it bothers that I chose surgery because I would have had an emergency c section anyways.

I think if birth was truly traumatic, then it's possible a c section might be a good idea for mental reasons. Your mind is very important when it comes to labour. I'm not talking about someone who doesn't particularly enjoy childbirth, but more someone who truly can't handle it.


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[deleted account]

All the OP wants is to make sure her friend makes an informed decision, there's nothing wrong with that.

But I do think that if the friend ignores the information the OP gives her and/or still decides to go with a c-section, then that's that and there's nothing more the OP should try to do.

Sally - posted on 02/24/2012




I have had all 3of my children by c section the first 2 unplanned and really took along recovery. 3rd planned and wonderful , the nearest i got to a natural birth, i got to see my baby when he was born, amazing. If id had a choice would much rather have done it myself. 2 hours really doesn't sound that long but maybe it was the whole labour that put her off. If im honest the whole idea of being able to pick is strange to me. You don't get a c section here unless theres a medical reason . I wish her and her baby well whatever she choices.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 02/24/2012




I have had two c-sections and I wish I could have gone natural. I went into labour for both of them, hoping to be able to go natural.

It is longer healing time and it is just not the natural way to have a baby, so there are risks. It is alot harder to get your belly back too, you always have a scar and some extra skin there, since your muscles have been cut, you have to work your butt off to get a flat stomach again. However, there are risks to natural too, risk is always higher when you're talking surgery. I really really HATE the epidural, it is extreme, you cannot feel any of your extremities. It made me very anxious. The first time I was put to sleep, which is even higher risk! It was an emergency section, my girl was going down hill with no water left, she was stressed. :(

Everyone heals differently though, I was up and walking a few hours after. I smoke, so that was a good motivator (yes, I know poor logic but it was). I was pretty much good to go within two weeks...

If I were her, I would try natural again. She may not have any issues this time. First time around is always hardest (so I hear)....;)

BTW - When I say natural I just mean vaginal, i don't mean without some good ol' drugs! LOL

Oh, one bonus is the baby comes out looking perfect (unless of course the doctor messes up and hits the baby with the scalpel....that would be terrible).

I was in labour 24 hours the first time and 36 hours the second. Only dilate to 3cm's. If I have another it will be a planned section.. :(

Ania - posted on 02/24/2012




She didn't do the reasearch at all. That's what annoys me. I just sent her link and hopefully she will read everything. She pushed for 2 hours and baby was delivered vaginally, she had epidural. My first experience was pretty traumatic too (for me) and I would not opt for c-section unless really necesarry. That's what happens when people don't do enough research. As for mental state I agree, that's why I told her, do whatever you want, just read first, so you can see risks involved.

Stifler's - posted on 02/24/2012




I'd have an elective c-section. I had an emergency caesar with my second and I honestly wonder why I bothered with the 26 hours of natural birth or 8 hours of induced labour only to have a caesar.

Tam - posted on 02/24/2012




Another route you could go is actually asking a few doctors - a lot seem to vary their opinions on C-sections but most are willing to do as the parent wishes to the extent that it is still safe to do so.

I'm due to give birth in the next month and I've talked with my doc extensively about the subject. I'm lucky in that she is very frank and upfront with me on my options and what she is and is not comfortable doing. I'm having twins, and up until recently one of them was breech. She told me straight up that I could attempt a vaginal birth with an attempted version for the second twin (the one who is breech) and that was the only kind of breech birth she would try to deliver vaginally due to complications. However, she also told me my chances of having a C-section, didn't sugarcoat it, etc.

The important thing is that she is letting me take the lead so long as it is safe. I don't want a C-section because to be honest, the idea of surgery in my abdomen kinda scares me, especially once I read up on laparoscopy. Even though it is generally safe.

Have you asked your friend if she has done her own research on the process? She might have. Perhaps she's already weighed the risks and decided that she wishes to go through with it. From what my doc told me at my last appointment, a scheduled C-section is less likely to result in infection whereas an emergency C-section (any time it is not scheduled, the prep before delivery may not be as good depending on the severity of the fetal distress) A scheduled section is prepped well beforehand. And if she had a difficult delivery before, it's not a stretch to think she might have a difficult time again.

I know you said studies or research and not articles, but here is one that I found to be relatively unbiased. It gives pros, cons, and what you can expect before, during, and in recovery of a C-section. I also second WebMD.

Oh, yeah. C-sections occur in operating rooms. Not those nice delivery rooms with the pretty curtains.


Johnny - posted on 02/24/2012




If she was fairly traumatized by her first birthing experience, there is probably nothing that will change her mind. Fear is a very powerful motivator.

One of my friends is choosing an elective c-section after her last birth was a 3 day induction a 2 weeks post date, sitting at 9 cm for 8 hours, and finally an emergency c-section when her daughter started to crash. So while I think VBAC's are great and I know she is a good candidate for them, and I generally think vaginal birthing is better for all concerned, in this case, I can totally understand that she doesn't want to repeat the horrible experience she had last time.

You might be best just asking some gentle questions about the risk of the anaesthesia, the incision gettting infected and the recovery period so she might think about choosing short term gain over long term pain. But that really depends on how her last experience was emotionally.

[deleted account]

Did she have a section the first time? Or just the two hours of pushing resulted in a vaginal delivery?

[deleted account]

For what it's worth, WebMD was pretty reliable for me with my first pregnancy, so maybe it will help you.


Infection of the incision or the uterus.

Heavy blood loss.

Blood clots in the mother’s legs or lungs.

Injury to the mother or baby.

Problems from the anesthesia, such as nausea, vomiting, and severe headache.

Breathing problems in the baby if it was delivered before its due date.

If she gets pregnant again, a woman with a C-section scar has a small risk of the scar tearing open during labor (uterine rupture). She also has a slightly higher risk of a problem with the placenta, such as placenta previa.

Recovery time: mothers may go home in 3 to 5 days but full recovery may take 4wks or longer, as opposed to home in 2 days and normal activity in 1 to 2wks with vaginal births.

You might find this helpful too, though it doesn't seem to have as much info as the other link...


And maybe this one...


I googled "cesarian section" and these sites were the first to pop up. Sorry they aren't direct research, but I didn't find anything helpful regarding the actual risks of a c-section.

I had researched it myself with my first child, to explain to my family and husband why I would refuse a c-section unless my life or my child's life absolutely depended on it. I have heard that children who were born via c-section are more prone to getting ear infections, and to me it seems logical, but it doesn't matter. I've also heard that the anesthetic can affect the baby, causing it to be lethargic for the first couple hours after birth (why I refused an epidural). There's also the matter of injury to the child, as evidenced by what happened to my friend's 4yo daughter, whose scalp was cut during a c-section. She still has a scar.

My main reason for forgoing a cesarian would have to be injury to the child and recovery time. I refuse to be laid up for weeks and would be extremely angry if the doctor somehow hurt my child during birth.

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