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Learning About Health Issues That Can Lead To A C-section

At Boro Park OB/GYN, we give you choices regarding your delivery method, and we’ll start discussing those options early in your pregnancy. Sometimes, however, your medical history or complications noted during your pregnancy limit the delivery method to a cesarean section (C-section).

A C-section is a surgical procedure used to deliver your baby via incisions in your abdomen and uterus. It’s a major surgery that typically lengthens your post-delivery hospital stay and requires incision care, activity limitations and other temporary restrictions not traditionally required following a vaginal delivery.

Despite these factors, a C-section is sometimes the best delivery method for you and your baby. And, whether your baby arrives vaginally or with a C-section, we always do our best to ensure you experience a safe and rewarding delivery.

Health conditions that may require a C-section

A variety of medical conditions or concerns can threaten the health of you or your baby during a vaginal delivery, leading your Boro Park OB/GYN specialist to decide on a C-section delivery.

Often, we’re aware of these conditions well in advance and can plan your C-section. Sometimes, however, we must make the decision to go with a C-section after labor is underway.

Previous C-section

At Boro Park, we take extra care in placing incisions during a C-section that help make it possible to experience a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) delivery. In some cases, however, issues related to your previous C-section may make that impossible.

For instance, you may not be a good candidate for VBAC if your previous C-section included a high vertical uterine incision.

Poor fetal positioning

In preparing for entry into the birth canal, babies are ideally moving head first, with their face down and their chin tucked in. You may need a C-section if your baby is set to enter the birth canal feet or buttocks first (breech) or is positioned sideways or shoulder first (transverse).

Known medical conditions

Sometimes health risks associated with uncontrolled diabetes, hypertension, and other complex medical issues require a C-section to protect you or your baby from the physical challenges of a vaginal birth.

We also typically recommend a C-section if you have HIV or an active genital herpes infection at delivery time. You may also require a C-section if you have a uterine fibroid obstructing your birth canal.

Fetal distress

As your labor progresses, we carefully monitor the baby’s heartbeat, because an abnormality there is often the first sign of fetal distress. If we note a persistently increased heart rate or other concerning sign that your baby is experiencing problems, we may choose to deliver via cesarean.

Placenta previa

Placenta previa occurs when the placenta sits very low in the uterus and partially or fully obstructs the cervical opening. This may resolve during pregnancy as your uterus enlarges. If not, due to the heavy maternal bleeding/hemorrhaging at delivery that often accompanies this condition, you may require a C-section.

Stalled labor

If your cervix does not dilate (open) adequately despite several hours of contractions or you otherwise fail to progress naturally through labor, a C-section may be necessary to protect your health and your baby’s physical well-being from the risks associated with prolonged labor.

At Boro Park OB/GYN, our pregnancy and delivery specialists are highly skilled at determining when delivery via C-section is a healthier option than vaginal delivery for you and your baby. You can rely on our expertise and commitment to women’s health care before, during, and after pregnancy. Schedule your prenatal consultation today.

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