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Why would you need an unplanned cesarean section?

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Cesarean Scar and Bruising Photo © Peter Dazeley/Getty Images
Question: Why would you need an unplanned cesarean section?
Answer: There are many reasons why a cesarean might be performed in labor. Here are some of the most common ones.

  • Failed induction - this may be the cervix fails to dilate in a preset amount of time, or mother or baby become ill from the induction of labor.

  • Labor dystocia - labor stalls, can be early or late in labor.

  • Fetal distress - where the baby's heart rate is non-reassuring or has developed a pattern of not returning to a normal baseline on the fetal monitoring strip.

  • Maternal distress - this may be fever or other problems with the mother.

  • Infection of mother or baby.

  • Bleeding from the uterus or placenta as in a placental abruption or uterine rupture.

  • Cephalopelvic disproportion (CPD) where the pelvis and baby are a supposed mismatch, often termed big baby.

It is important to note most of these reasons are not emergent and provide you with time to get informed consent and to make a decision.

See also: Cesarean Birth: Step by Step

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