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
- 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.
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