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Health & Pregnancy

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Is a Planned C-Section Right for Me?

What to Consider With a Planned C-Section

While C-sections are generally very safe, they're still major surgeries. They carry risks for you and the baby. If you're considering a planned C-section, here are some things to keep in mind.

  • After a C-section, your recovery time will be longer than with a regular vaginal delivery -- both in the hospital and after hospitalization.
  • Babies delivered by C-section have a bigger risk for breathing problems after birth that will require time in the neonatal intensive care unit. These usually go away within a few days.
  • Kids born by C-section may also be more prone to have asthma, diabetes, allergies, and obesity later in life.
  • You have a bigger risk of heavy bleeding, infection, injury to other organs, or blood clots with C-sections than with a vaginal delivery. Some women will need a transfusion.
  • You will also have increased risk of abnormal implantation of the placenta in future pregnancies, which may increase the risk for bleeding and hysterectomy.
  • After C-section, the risk of uterine rupture (separation of the uterine scar) in future pregnancies increases.

Having a planned C-section could complicate future pregnancies. Each C-section tends to be more difficult than the one before. If you’re planning to have another baby, and particularly if you want a large family, talk with your doctor about how a C-section could affect your plans.

If you're thinking about having a planned C-section, talk over the pros and cons with your doctor or midwife. If you like, get a second opinion. As long as there's no emergency, don't let yourself be rushed. Take the time to make a decision that feels right to you.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Trina Pagano, MD on December 05, 2014
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