Emergency Cesarean- when You Can’t Avoid It

Throughout your nine months of pregnancy, you have probably done your best to ensure that you are well prepared for the delivery of your baby. Among the things that you may have considered is the method through which you will deliver your baby. 

Ideally, there are two methods through which you can deliver; 

  • Vaginally
  • Cesarean section

With advice from your doctor, you are at a better position to decide which is the best way for you to go. 

However, sometimes, despite planning a vaginal delivery,circumstances may require you to have an emergency cesarean. Read on to learn more on what to expect in case you will need an emergency cesarean.

Reasons to Have an Emergency Cesarean

Emergency cesarean is done when you or the baby is in dire distress. This can be at any point in your pregnancy. Other reasons why one may have an emergency cesarean are such as:

  • Uterine rupture from a previous c-section 
  • Placenta detaches from the walls of the uterus
  • Maternal or fetal distress 
  • Maternal hemorrhage/ bleeding
  • Prolapsed umbilical cord; this is where the umbilical cord drops through the cervix ahead of your baby
  • You have multiple babies, and complications occur 
  • Labour fails to progress normally 
  • Baby is too large to fit through the mother’s pelvis

What to Expect when You Have an Emergency Cesarean

The decision to have an emergency cesarean is made as soon as the doctors realize any of the problems above. Depending on your health situation or that of the baby, it could be divided into four different categories. These are:

  • Category 1– this is where there is a threat to the life of the mother or baby, and the surgery is done within 30 minutes 
  • Category 2– this is where problems affect the health of the mother and the baby, though not life-threatening. This surgery can wait up to an hour. 
  • Category 3– birth needs to be done through cesarean though there is no immediate risk to the mother or the baby. 
  • Category 4– the surgery takes place at the time that the mother and the surgical team finds best. 

Your Emotions After Emergency Cesarean

More often than not, most women feel disappointed after they have had an emergency cesarean because their birth did not go as they had planned. Try to look at it positively, especially where the surgery was successful and the baby is healthy. 

Either way, how you feel depends on your expectations before you go into labor. Therefore, as much as you are hoping to have a successful vaginal delivery, be prepared psychologically in case you need an emergency cesarean. It may make the healing process much easier for you. 


#Please note that development differs from one child to another

#Content intended for educational purposes only, and should not be substituted for medical advice from your doctor.

Last reviewed January 2019

Sources: webmd, kidspot, mayoclinic, whattoexpect, babycentre

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