5 Truths About Unplanned C-Sections

5 Truths About Unplanned C-Sections

It’s no secret that I’m an advocate for vaginal birth, but after losing my twins at 17 weeks pregnant, I’m also an advocate of getting babies safely and healthily into this world.

However that happens.


Just last week, I gave you 3 Reasons Not to Schedule a C-Section in a Healthy Pregnancy, and I stand by what I said in that post: When it comes down to it, what really matters is that your children end up alive, healthy, and well. And while I hope to have a vaginal birth in the future, you can bet your tuchus that I will do whatever is necessary to ensure my baby makes it safely into this world and if that means having a c-section, so be it.

Shortly after I shared my thoughts in that post, I came across a great article on the Boston Globe, written by a woman who had found herself faced with the decision of having an unplanned c-section after 18 hours of labor. Of that, she says, “There’s something about entering the second stage of labor and having to make an informed decision that doesn’t quite mix. I had questions about the options [the doctor] laid out, specifically about c-sections. Questions that cleared and blurred between contractions.”

She hadn’t paid much attention to the c-section chapter of her birthing class, and suddenly wished she had. And that’s just the thing about unplanned c-sections: no one plans on having one.

So what to do if you’re faced with this possibility? Here’s the advice from one woman who experienced this firsthand.

  • You don’t need to make a decision right away. There is a difference between unplanned c-sections and emergency c-sections. 
  • If you say no to an unplanned c-section, you’re not putting your baby at risk. When labor seems to have stopped progressing, a c-section can become “an option.” If something unexpected happens during labor (remember, we’re not talking about emergencies here!), saying no to a c-section is just as acceptable as saying yes.
  • Having a c-section doesn’t put a limit on the number of children a woman can have. While multiple c-sections have their own set of risks, there is no limit put on mothers for the amount of babies she can have.
  • Having one c-section doesn’t mean you will only ever have c-sections in the future. Women are often encouraged to have a vaginal delivery during their next pregnancy, as long as the woman’s health and the health of her baby are fine.
  • Having a c-section does not mean you will miss out on the first minutes of your baby’s life. With more and more hospitals offering family-centered cesareans, women are able to engage their babies more than ever.

::Did you have an unplanned c-section? What advice would you give others?::

Photo: iStockphoto

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