Before you give birth, you may read every book and article you can find about the process, but all that knowledge can go out the window if you end up needing a cesarean section. Per the American Pregnancy Association, today's doctors deliver more than a quarter of all babies through this method, so familiarizing yourself with the process and risks associated with C-sections is a wise idea.
Anytime you go under the knife, you face certain dangers, but when you have a C-section, your baby, too, could face risks.
Complications you may face as a mother
In most cases, mothers who deliver babies via C-section require longer hospital stays and additional care in comparison with mothers who deliver vaginally. You may, too, face complications if your doctor nicks or cuts your organs during the birthing process. Your chance of experiencing substantial blood loss is also higher when you have a C-section, with somewhere between one and six out of every 100 women bleeding enough to warrant a blood transfusion. You may, too, develop infections in your incision site following a C-section delivery.
Complications your baby may face
Babies delivered via C-sections are more likely to have breathing or respiratory issues than babies born naturally. Your delivering doctor can also cause harm to your baby if he or she accidentally cuts him or her during delivery. Your baby is also about 50 percent more likely to have a low APGAR score when you deliver via a C-section, with the APGAR score serving as an assessment of his or her overall wellness at birth. Additionally, if your physician was incorrect in his or her estimation of your baby's gestational age, you may have your C-section too soon, resulting in a baby with a low birth weight.
C-sections have the potential to lead to serious complications, so if your doctor recommends that you have one for a nonemergency reason, make sure you have a clear understanding of why he or she recommends doing so.