When it comes to being pregnant nothing is guaranteed, and surprises do occur. Whether or not you are a high-risk mother, it is a good idea to be prepared for the possibility of having a cesarean. Sometimes emergency cesareans are necessary. However, they will be done only after a definitive diagnosis is made. An emergency cesarean will be necessary should there be a pelvic disproportion (the baby is too big to fit through the birth canal), fetal distress (for example, due to the umbilical cord wrapping around the fetus's neck, placental insufficiency, low oxygen, or infection), maternal distress, such as abruptio placenta, maternal heart problems, or toxemia of pregnancy.
Although time will be of the essence, should you be diagnosed with any of these conditions, be sure that you ask for even a brief explanation for the surgery. It may also be a good idea to request a second opinion.
Here are the most common indications for cesarean birth:
1. Previous surgery on the uterus makes a cesarean necessary
2. Placenta previa, to prevent excessive maternal bleeding that may affect the fetus.
3. Abruptio placenta, to prevent rapid blood and oxygen loss to the baby as a result of the placenta separating.
4. Herpes infection, a cesarean will prevent the possibility of passing it on to the baby through the birth canal.
5. Severe toxemia, to prevent fetal complications.
6. Fetal distress, as identified through ultrasounds and/or fetal monitoring.
7. Abnormal fetal position, making it impossible for the baby to pass through the birth canal. An example would be a breech or transverse presentation.
8. Diabetic mother, if the disease results in a very large baby, or poor blood flow to the placenta.
9. Prolapsed cord, to prevent loss of oxygen to the baby.
10. Cephalopelvic disproportion (CPD), when the baby's head is too large to pass through the birth canal.
11. Failure of labor to progress, or if oxytocin has not been effective.
12. Forcep, or vacuum failure.
While there may be additional circumstances that would require birth by cesarean, these are the most common reasons. Always be sure to discuss the possibilities as they relate to your pregnancy with your doctor.
Carl DiNello is an Article Author whose articles are featured on websites covering the Internet's most popular topics.
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