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What risks are associated with a cesarean birth?

According to the Mayo Clinic, a cesarean section, commonly referred to as a c-section, is a birthing procedure where the baby is delivered through an incision made in the abdomen and uterus. While this procedure is often used to prevent serious complications to the mother and child, it’s also associated with quite a few risks. That’s why it’s so important for medical staff to make the right determinations when it comes to c-sections vs. natural births.

For instance, many babies born via c-section suffer from transient tachypnea. This condition causes abnormal breathing, characterized by rapids breaths, during the first days after the delivery. Mothers may also experience complications after undergoing this surgery. These include blood clots, which may cause a pulmonary embolism, infection of the uterine lining, heavy bleeding, surgical injuries, or problems caused by anesthesia.

The American Pregnancy Association also lists some possible risks that may result from c-sections. An APGAR test is a brief physical exam given to the baby to ensure she is healthy and requires no further medical intervention. Babies born via c-section tend to have lower APGAR scores, either due to a distressing experience in the womb or because of anesthesia. There is also a risk of low birth weight if the baby is delivered too soon, which sometimes happens when gestation age is miscalculated.

If a c-section is recommended by your OB-GYN, makes sure you ask questions about the procedure to ensure a safe experience. Get clear information on why the c-section is recommended and if there are any alternatives to consider. Also, ask about any possible risks, and compare these to the risks associated with giving birth naturally. If you’re still concerned, ask your doctor to spell out exactly what happens during the procedure.


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