Reasons for a Cesarean Birth
With more than 31% of women giving birth in the United States via cesarean section, it's important to cover this topic.
The most common reasons for cesarean section are listed below, some are absolute and others are not.
- Placenta Previa at Term
- Placenta Abruption
- Fetal Distress
- Malpresentation of baby (transverse lie, some breeches, etc.)
- Cephalopelvic Disproportion (CPD)
- Herpes Infection (Active)
- Repeat Cesarean
- Other problems with mom or baby.
Some of these may go in a different order but these are the basics of a cesarean section:
- Pre-operative medications like an antacid
- Monitoring leads (yours and baby's)
- A catheter inserted
- Wash and Shave
- Skin Incision
- Uterine Incision
- Breaking the Bag of Waters
- Disengage the baby from the pelvis
- Cord Clamping and cutting
- Placenta removed & uterus repaired
- Skin Sutured
- Recovery Room
Pain Relief for the Surgery
You have a few options here: spinal anesthesia, epidural anesthesia (both regional blocks) or general anesthesia. Epidurals and spinals are the most common form of anesthesia for the cesarean delivery. Typically the epidural is used if it is already in place. However, in the planned cesarean, many women are given spinal anesthesia. General anesthesia is used mostly in emergency situations.
Pain Relief After the Surgery
Duramorph is often placed through the spinal or epidural catheter, right before it is removed and is generally good pain relief for 16-24 after delivery.
Other options include: Patient controlled analgesia (PCA), where your IV is attached to a machine that will alert you when you can have more IV medications and you can then take it at will. You have the option of oral pain medications, usually at 4 hour intervals. And, less frequently used, are intramuscular injections.
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