Posts Tagged ‘vaginal birth’

Medical reasons you may need a c-section

Friday, August 11th, 2017

A c-section is surgery in which your baby is born through a cut that your doctor makes in your belly and uterus. If your pregnancy is healthy and you don’t have any medical complications, it’s best to have your baby through vaginal birth. However, sometimes your health care provider may suggest that you have a c-section for medical reasons. In these cases, a c-section can help to keep you and your baby safe.

You and your provider may schedule a c-section because of known pregnancy complications, such as:

There are also situations that come up during labor and childbirth that may require you to have an unplanned (emergency) c-section. Here are some possible reasons you may need to have an unplanned c-section:

  • Your baby is too big to pass safely through the vagina.
  • Your baby is in a breech position (his bottom or feet are facing down) or a transverse position (his shoulder is facing down). The best position for your baby at birth is head down.
  • Labor is too slow or stops.
  • Your baby’s umbilical cord slips into the vagina where it could be squeezed or flattened during vaginal birth. This is called umbilical cord prolapse.
  • Your baby has problems during labor, like a slow heart rate. This is also called fetal distress.
  • Your baby has a certain type of birth defect.

Remember, if you’re scheduling your c-section for medical reasons,make sure to talk to your provider about waiting until at least 39 weeks of pregnancy, if possible. This gives your baby the time she needs to grow and develop before birth.

If your pregnancy is healthy and you don’t have any medical reasons to have a c-section, it’s best to have your baby through vaginal birth. But for some women and their babies, a c-section is safer than a vaginal birth. If you have questions or concerns about whether a c-section may be right for you, talk to your health care provider.

Have questions? Send them AskUs@marchofdimes.org.

C-sections, scheduling births and why healthy babies are worth the wait

Friday, April 4th, 2014

We’ve written a lot of posts about labor and, that if your pregnancy is healthy, it’s best to wait for labor to begin on its own. We’re glad that more moms know that having a healthy baby is worth the wait. But sometimes, it doesn’t hurt to have a reminder – not just for moms-to-be, but for everyone.

Both of my babies were late, especially my son. (He’s a true mama’s boy and I sometimes get the feeling that he would climb back in if he could!) I remember all of the frustration and discomfort I felt as I reached and went past my due date. But as uncomfortable as those last weeks were, it was a small sacrifice to make for my baby’s health.

If there are no medical reasons for either you or your baby to have a c-section or schedule your baby’s birth, then it’s best to wait for labor to begin on its own. And unless you have a medical reason for having a c-section, it’s best to have your baby through vaginal birth.

A c-section is major surgery that takes longer to recover from than a vaginal birth. And you’re more likely to have complications from a c-section than from a vaginal birth. A c-section can cause problems for your baby, too. Babies born by c-section may have more breathing and other medical problems than babies born by vaginal birth.

All this is to say that if your pregnancy is healthy and you’re thinking about scheduling your baby’s birth, consider the risks. And even though those last weeks can be very uncomfortable, your baby’s health is worth the wait.

Tearing during childbirth

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

The perineum is the area between your vagina and rectum. It stretches during labor and vaginal birth, but sometimes it can’t stretch enough and it may tear. Tearing is common in childbirth, especially if you are delivering a baby over 8 ½ pounds or if forceps are used to help deliver him. If your baby is being delivered face up, there is more of a chance of tearing. You may be more likely to tear if this is your first labor and birth, or if you had tearing or an episiotomy (a cut made at the opening of the vagina to help widen the passage) in a previous birth.

Tearing may affect only the tissue around the vagina which should heal on its own, or the muscles between the vagina and anus may be torn which would require stitches by your provider post delivery. In more rare and severe cases, rectal tissue may be torn requiring the surgical skill of a specialist.

The perineum often is pretty sore after giving birth and it can take a couple of weeks before you’re comfortable enough to sit on a hard chair again. This is especially true if you have stitches from a tear or an episiotomy.  While healing, it is important to keep the area clean. Rinse with warm water after every time you use the toilet and always wipe from front to back to help prevent infection.

Here are some things you can do to help you feel more comfortable and heal sooner:
• Kegel exercises – These strengthen the muscles in the pelvic area, which helps the perineum heal. They’re easy to do – just squeeze the muscles you use to stop yourself from peeing. Hold the muscles tight for ten seconds, then release. You can do this anytime, anywhere (in the car, at the grocery store, in an elevator…) so do them whenever you think about it.
• Put a cold pack on your perineum – just be sure to wrap it in a towel so you don’t freeze any skin!
• Sit on a pillow. Some gals highly recommend a donut shaped pillow.
• Soak in a warm bath.
• Use stool softeners to keep from getting constipated.

If you try all this and you’re still really uncomfortable, ask your health care provider about pain medication for a few days. You can read more and watch a video about postpartum discomforts at this link.

Postpartum – perineum soreness

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

I just visited my daughter and new granddaughter.  Oh, how sweet it was to see them – and big sister and Dad, too.  Spending time with my daughter reminded me of how sore and uncomfortable a woman can be after giving birth, so I thought I’d do some posts on postpartum issues.

The perineum is the area between your vagina and rectum.  It stretches during labor and vaginal birth.  It often is pretty sore after giving birth and it can take a couple of weeks before you’re comfortable enough to sit on a hard chair again.  This is especially true if you have stitches from a tear or an episiotomy (a cut made at the opening of the vagina to help widen the passage).

Here are some things you can do to help you feel more comfortable and heal sooner:
• Kegel exercises – These strengthen the muscles in the pelvic area, which helps the perineum heal.  They’re easy to do – just squeeze the muscles you use to stop yourself from peeing.  Hold the muscles tight for ten seconds, then release.  You can do this anytime, anywhere (in the car, at the grocery store, in an elevator…) so do them whenever you think about it.
• Put a cold pack on your perineum – just be sure to wrap it in a towel so you don’t freeze any skin!
• Sit on a pillow.  My daughter has a great donut pillow she used and highly recommends.
• Soak in a warm bath.
• Be sure to wipe from front to back after going to the bathroom.  This will help prevent infection while the area heals.

If you try all this and you’re still really uncomfortable, ask your health care provider about pain medication for a few days.  You might want to watch this video with Dr. Dolan and women discussing some of their postpartum discomforts, including tips on how they handled them.