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Cesarean Section Delivery (Patient\'s Choice)

Underlying Problem Requiring a Cesarean Section:
Some women choose to undergo a cesarean section delivery even when it is not medically indicated. Research shows that this is not a common choice, with only about two percent of women asking for unnecessary cesareans. In the United States, it appears that women with the least likelihood of complications are actually more likely to have a cesarean section delivery. When the procedure is the mother\'s choice, the reasons given are usually related to pain considerations and worries over vaginal tone. These women typically do not understand that cesarean section pain is likely to be greater than that of a vaginal birth, and recovery pain will almost certainly be greater.

Women experiencing a cesarean birth may be placed under a general anesthetic, although regional anesthesia, such as a spinal or an epidural, is almost always used so that the mother can interact with the baby immediately after the birth. The doctor then makes incisions through the abdominal wall of the mother and through her uterus. The baby (or babies) is then removed through the incision.

The \"classical cesarean section\" utilized a midline longitudinal incision. This type of cesarean section is rarely used today because of numerous complications. Currently, the most common type of c-section is the lower uterine segment section. This uses a transverse cut just above the woman\'s bladder. If the mother has already had cesarean section, the doctors will generally cut along the existing scar.

There is quite a bit of controversy over whether or not a woman should be allowed to attempt a vaginal birth after a previous cesarean. Called a VBAC, some medical professionals refuse to allow it for fear of rupture at the site of the scar. Because cesarean sections can result in a number of potential complications for both mother and baby, however, there is a strong movement to allow women to avoid these problems by giving birth vaginally.

Recovery from a Cesarean Section:
Cesarean section is a major surgery, and the recovery time reflects this. With the possibility for many complications, the new mother will likely need to follow up with her doctor to inspect the incision, monitor healing, etc. Of course, the potential risks will be compounded by the need to care for an infant and a lack of sleep. Additionally, breastfeeding may be impaired as a result of the surgery. As long as healing happens properly, however, the patient should be able to return to most activities within a few weeks.

Physicans who offer the Parent\'s Choice Cesarean Section