The risks of a c-section

Over the years, cesarean sections have increased in prevalence. While they may be necessary in emergency or unexpected situations, some doctors and/or expectant mothers in North Carolina elect for a c-section in advance of the delivery. While this choice may be for convenience or health reasons, it is important women understand the risks associated with the procedure because they are much greater than for vaginal deliveries.

According to the American Pregnancy Association, more than 25% of pregnant women end up getting a c-section. Because it is a major surgery, the procedure presents risks not only to the mom but also to the baby, and this is true even when everything goes according to plan. 

In regard to the baby, complications that can occur include:

  • Lower APGAR scores
  • Premature birth
  • Injury to the fetus
  • Breathing issues

The risks for mom include:

  • Longer recovery time
  • Scar tissue
  • Organ injury
  • Excessive blood loss
  • Negative reactions to medication or anesthesia
  • Bonding issues
  • Death
  • Infections

Healthline discusses the types of infections and who is at higher risk of developing them. Infection of the wound site is the most common type and it is diagnosed by redness, fever, swelling and tenderness around the incision. This type of infection can also spread to surrounding areas such as the ovaries and uterine lining. Other infections that can occur include thrush, bladder and urinary tract infections.

Certain women are at greater risk of developing infections. Risk factors include excessive weight, long-term steroid use, poor prenatal care, long labor, previous c-sections, excessive bleeding during delivery and diabetes. There is also greater risk of infection when there is a lack of pre-incision antibiotics and when staples are used to close the incision. The doctor should use PGA sutures and antimicrobial treatment prior to surgery to help prevent infection.




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