Reasons for a caesarean

Useful information on the reasons for having both elective and emergency caesarean sections.
Caesarean sections fall into two basic groups, elective sections, which are planned in pregnancy, and emergency sections, which are performed when things go wrong during or before, labour.

Elective caesarean sections

If it is thought that your baby will need to be delivered by section during your pregnancy the reasons will be discussed with you by your team of doctors at the hospital. Some reasons mean there is no alternative to caesarean section. With others the decision may be less clear and you may be given a choice to opt for vaginal or caesarean birth.

Reasons for caesarean section
  • Placenta praevia - a condition where the placenta lies over the opening of the womb in front of your baby.
  • Multiple pregnancy
  • Breech presentation
  • Pregnancy induced hypertension (PIH) also known as PET
  • Diabetes
  • Heavy bleeding in pregnancy (antepartum haemorrhage)
  • Placenta dysfunction causing your baby to be deprived of some of the oxygen and nutrients they need. Over time this affects their growth and makes the baby less able to cope with labour.
  • Previous caesarean delivery
  • Previous traumatic vaginal delivery
  • Failed induction of labour
  • Some infectious diseases
If you are given the choice of how to have your baby make sure you understand why a caesarean has been suggested. A caesarean has been suggested. A caesarean is a major operation and can have implications for you in the short and the long term so should not be treated lightly.

Emergency sections

Most emergency sections are performed in labour. Prior to labour the main reasons for emergency section are:
  • Heavy, persistent, vaginal bleeding
  • Foetal distress
  • Sudden, severe high blood pressure or fitting
Reasons for emergency delivery during labour include:
  • Foetal distress of a vaginal delivery is not imminent.
  • Failure to progress in the first or second stage of labour
  • Failed ventouse or forcep delivery
  • Cord prolapse, where the cord falls through the cervix, into the vagina and infront of the baby.
  • Uterine rupture, a complication which can occur if you have a scar on your uterus

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I had a c section with my first one, due to failed induction of labour, im now wondering weather i shall have another c-section or try vaginally, im really confused and a bit scared as i dont know what to expect with the normal way, what do you recommend?
by mayjoy 12th Apr 2011, 5:32pm
I had a emergency c section with my first because of growth problems and I am now pregnant again and want to have another c section, not because I am too posh to push but I will feel a lot safer having one even tho there are complications, I felt really well after my c section and was walking around and had no problems afterwards the only downside is the long stay in hospital which is usually 3-4 days but apart from that I found it ok.
by WelshyD 28th Jan 2011, 4:54pm
i had a c section with my first born but not allowed one this time yet scared or going through the same trauma as last time before i had the section
by grandchild 26th Nov 2010, 5:10pm
I had a c-section with my 1st because he was breach and there was low amniotic fluid. I was walking after 4 hours (they numbed me up really well). After 3 days in the hospital I stopped taking pain pills and went on with my life. You do have to take it easy , no heavy lifting for a few weeks but you won't mind, your either sleeping or feeding or changing diapers anyway. I didn't have much discomfort because my belly was numb for almost 6 months. One word of advice though, make sure when zipping up your pants after a c-section make sure all your skin is in! I zipped up some skin in my pants and didn't feel it right away!
by kay27 1st Dec 2009, 9:30am
am due to go into hospital on the 16th nov to give birth to my first wee boy, i did not want to go for a section but i have no choice baby is breach i want to have a natural birth so that i can hold him and feed him and then let my partner have a hold but am not to have that but in long run its in the intrest of both baby and me so ive no option if i go into labour i need to get to hospital asap as baby is going to come bum first, not looking forward to this but at end of day i have a brill partner and parents and his parents as well partner taking 2 weeks off work mother taking partners 2nd week off and partners mother taking 3rd week so hope al be feeling alot better by the time they all go back to work, where as if i had natural birth then i would need there help but just not for as long
by lizhunter2 2nd Nov 2009, 10:26am
i am really scared about giving birth im 34 weeks and a single parent to be my family are really supportive i have thought from the start i would have a naturally birth but now reality is that im 2 scared and i think i will panic i want to know if i could opt for a c-section or maybe i should have a pain relief injection does any1 have any suggestions that are good for pain relief.
by becciXxX1988 16th Jun 2009, 11:51am
well i had my baby through caesarian section because he was too big,' blame it on my unhealthy eating habits' and am a petite lady. The whole experience was a nightmare, i was in pain and couldn't walk properly nor could i breastfeed him coz i couldn't sit down. That was 10 months ago and i still feel a liitle soreness, all in all, i would advice mother's to be, if you can give birth naturally, please do, because in the long run its less painful and you get to regain your shape faster.
by manani 12th May 2009, 9:53am
What if the baby don't arrive at the expected delivery date i.e. no labour pain feel? is it suggestible to ceaser in that case or wait for some weeks. please suggest.
by sangeetasish 30th Apr 2009, 9:17am
i had a c-section like 10 years ago and it freakd me out bc i was so young!but the only prob i had was my bac later on in life! i was scared and didnt know wut 2expect w my first child!now im preg again and im scared to hav it natural! dont want a big baby forced outta me! but it may not be that bad but i will hav 2 travel farther jus to hav it natural and that will really discourage a mom 2 b!!!
by neek 6th Jan 2009, 10:14am
i think it is silly to want 2 have c section, i went in2 labour thurs 20th nov, was in labour 4 nearly 10hrs but baby was distressed and heartbeat dropped so took me in2 theatre for emergency c section, it was worse feeling ever. yes labour is hard but much more better for you in the long term, i am sooo sore and ill, it has been 2 wks not recovered yet, it takes time, is classed as a major operation. i cant even care for baby properly! i really wish i had normal labour, i would'v enjoyed bein a mother better becoz i would'v been fitter and well. so please if you can avoid c sections, i would do! im soooo scared now that if i ever fall pregnant i dont want section again so i am going 2 wait atleast 3yrs so i can heal properly.
by Hasina2k 4th Dec 2008, 8:48am
i heard you can have an elective if you know you have a phobia and it would be best for you and you baby, i am like you, i will never give birth natrualy, im not even scared of the pain, i just cant even comprehend the process of pushing a 7 pound baby out of my vagina. i have had dreams where i do it and strait away i dont love the baby and i dont even want to hold it,
go to your midwife, explain, and cry, and scream do everything in your power!!
its YOUR choise and YOUR body.

by xKTx 24th Nov 2008, 9:34am
Hi justine your midwife has been fairly unsympathetic there i would say. You need to ask yourself why are you so frightened of giving birth naturally??? I would go back to your midwife to seriously discuss this women i come into contact with this phobia find hypnotherapy very beneficial so maybe this is something you could consider. Contact me if you would like to talk about this. :)
by loobylou62 18th Nov 2008, 8:38am
i know how you feel! i was a caesarean born baby myself and have never wanted to have a natural birth,i am now 39 and 26 wks pregnant with my first baby. i dont want to have vaginal birth and am gettig really anxious about the whole thing. this may sound silly to some people but to me its a phobia. when i told my widwife i wanted a caesarean she said i couldnt on nhs which means i would have to go private, which i cant afford. can anyone give me any advise?
by justine39 29th Oct 2008, 9:20am
can u have a caesarean if you dont want to give birth naturally cause im scared!!!!!!
by harriettaylor 20th Oct 2008, 8:54am