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Cesarean Section Delivery

Underlying Problem Requiring a Cesarean Section:
A cesarean section is a method for delivering a child when a normal vaginal delivery is not possible. In most cases, it is performed because a vaginal birth poses serious risks to the baby, the mother, or both. Some of the most common reasons for cesarean sections include dystocia (failure of labor to progress), fetal distress, pre-eclampsia, cord prolapse, multiple births, uterine rupture, active herpes, placenta previa, abnormalities of the umbilical cord, macrosomia (extremely large baby), hypertension, and apparent fetal or maternal distress.

Treatment:
Women experiencing a cesarean section 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.

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