Caesarean Section (C-Section) vs. Natural Birth

Woman With Newly Delivered BabyJill Gibson, MD understands your pregnancy concerns. She has walked the road to motherhood personally and knows that sometimes even the most exciting voyage of your life can turn out a little bumpy.

What is a C-Section?

A cesarean delivery, or C-section, is an operation that results in delivery through an incision into the abdomen and through the uterus. There are many reasons for cesarean delivery, yet most are a direct result of patient and baby health.

A health condition present in the mother often dictates a C-section delivery. Many pre-existing medical conditions worsen with the stresses of pregnancy and prevent a woman from performing well as she labors through vaginal delivery. Problems within the uterus and other pelvic organs, or the position of the placenta, can also play a large role in a decision for a cesarean birth. A baby’s position can also determine the need for c-section birth, even after labor has started.

Dr. Gibson works with each patient individually to discuss the benefits and drawbacks of cesarean and vaginal deliveries for every unique pregnancy.

Can You Have a Vaginal Birth After a C-Section?

Yes – women who have had a c-section birth in the past can still have a vaginal birth in subsequent pregnancies. This type of delivery is called a VBAC, or vaginal birth after cesarean section, and is only an option for patients who have undergone one past C-section with the incision situated across the uterus as opposed to vertically.

VBAC delivery results in shorter hospital stays, a less frequent need for blood transfusions, and a decreased chance of infection. The largest risk associated with vaginal birth after cesarean is the possibility of uterus rupture. While this is a small risk, less than one percent, it can be a tremendous factor for mothers who have had multiple cesarean births in the past.

After Delivering Your Baby

Except in the case of a cesarean performed in an emergency situation, mothers are allowed to have a support person in the operating room with them throughout the procedure. Once delivery is complete, the baby is handed off to a support team of nurses and doctors for a quick exam while the mother’s incision is closed. This process only takes a few moments, then both mother and baby are taken to a recovery room.

Postpartum Diet

An IV line within the mother’s arm will supply all of the calories, fluid, and medicine needed for the first half day, with clear liquids added as tolerable. Patients will work closely with Dr. Gibson and the hospital staff to determine when other foods should be added.

Patients are typically released from the hospital on a full diet, two to three days after the operation. Schedule an appointment with Jill Gibson, MD to discuss your specific case and learn the best options for your pregnancy.