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Caesarean section

What is a Caesarean section?

Caesarean section is the surgical procedure for the delivery of a baby through a cut (incision) in the mother’s belly (abdomen) and uterus to take her baby through it.

Reasons for an unplanned Caesarean delivery

  • Arrest of dilation i.e. when cervix stops dilating
  • Arrest of descent in labor i.e. when baby stops progressing down the birth canal
  • Failed attempts to stimulate uterine contractions
  • Irregular heart rate of the baby and slow/fast heart rate of the baby
  • Decreased oxygen supply to the baby due to umbilical cord prolapses and other cord related issues
  • Signs of placenta separation
  • Vaginal bleeding

Conditions for a planned C-section

In some conditions, it’s clear that a woman will need a caesarean even before she goes into labor. It includes:

  • Maternal history of previous uterine surgery [e.g. Myomectomy, or previous c-sections]
  • Breach or transverse position of the baby
  • Two or more foetuses.
  • Low lying placenta or a placenta praevia
  • Genital herpes in mother at the time of labor (it could pass to a baby delivered vaginally)
  • Hypertensive mother
  • Diabetic mother
  • Foetal illness or abnormality
  • Very large baby

The C-section procedure

C-section is performed under epidural or spinal block, which numbs the lower half of the woman-s body. Nowadays, general anaesthesia is rarely given except in emergency situations. An IV drip is started and a catheter is inserted to drain urine during the procedure. The surgeon makes a small horizontal incision above the pubic bone (called a bikini cut), and another incision in the lower section of the uterus. The baby is then delivered and handed to the paediatrician for immediate care and the surgeon removes the placenta from woman. Wounds are closed and the patient is shifted to the recovery room.

After care of C-section

  • Intravenous fluids for about 24 hrs after C-section
  • Clear fluids given to woman within 4 hours after C-section
  • The patient is encouraged to walk the day after C-section
  • Urinary catheter as well as the IV line disconnected 24 hrs after C-section
  • Baby & mother are discharged on 3rd and 4th day after C-section
  • Stitch removal is not required as the stitches used are absorbable and hidden
  • Dressing removed between the 5th and 7th day after C-section