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Mahima Sharma
12 Jul 2018 . 16 min read

MOTHERS SPEAK: 10 Things Not Even A Doctor Informs Before a C-Section Delivery


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Even before she planned her first child, my sister-in-law had planned it that she would undergo a C-section child birth.

Reason: She didn't want to undergo the harrowing pain, which she had seen her elder sisters undergo. Her decision was backed by her loving husband as well as the doctor she chose.

Yes, these days doctors are more keen on minting money through C-section deliveries than informing their patients about the after-effects of such a delivery.

On the other hand, my gynaecologist had told me that whenever I plan a child, she will ensure as far as possible that I undergo a normal delivery.

So what is the difference between the two doctors?

Or should I say the two advises? I went and spoke to ten women across the world who had undergone C-section delivery (some even twice), to find out 10 major things that NO-ONE will tell you about a C-Section delivery... Maybe not even your doctor.

Why you must know these reasons? 

Because

The latest statistics in the US say that 1 in 3 deliveries there are C-section, while the number is 1-4 in India. And not many are aware that 90% women who undergo C-section suffer from grave complications post this open-tummy surgery! Thus read on..for the safety of yourself/ the women in your family who are planning a child. 

#1. C-Sections not a less-painful and easy procedure but a 'Major Surgery'

Doctors telling you that it is simple, less-painful safe procedure won't take away the reality of what they entail. 

Dorathy Chadha from Canada, a 35-year-old C-section mother informs," It isn't simple, rather it is a major abdominal surgery, with incisions (under anaesthesia) usually 10 to 20 cm long!

No, we aren't here to scare you, but to inform you the grave complications it involves, like passing the Urine through the catheter for the next 24 to 72 hours as in my case. And the dressing of the wound if not done time to time and hygienically, can cause sepsis, which can be fatal. So make sure that you get your wound nursed at-least twice a day, under experts eyes and hands." 

#2. Maternal Mortality Can 5 Times Higher in C-section deliveries

Ramona Siddiqui, a 28-year-old Dentist and a C-section mother of a one-year old wrote to me from Riyadh,

"India is among the top nations where C-section deliveries are being promoted with full-strength by private hospitals and doctors. Don't educated women from your country read the repercussions before undergoing it? How silly! Even the World Health Organization has stated time and again that maternal mortality & morbidity from a C-section is 5 times higher than that of a normal vaginal birth. And it is because there is a great risk to the mother due to complications like haemorrhage, sepsis, etc. I went through it because my fetus had taken a wrong position and would not budge. Why are even educated women in your land so silly, despite so much information on the internet?"

Even my gynecologist, who backed Ramona's information, had no answer to her questions!  

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#3. One C-section means Multiple Complications

"If you have agreed for a C-section without going into the details of WHY and without a second opinion, then be prepared for certain complications in future pregnancies. It can invite grave troubles like
a) placenta previa - where the placenta covers your cervix
b) placenta accreta or abnormal placental attachment
c) a uterine rupture"
The above was detailed by Robie Gaetan who hails from the foreign shores (she refrains from disclosing her country's name) and resides in Kerala, India.

She lost her second child to a complication developed post her first child through C-section. She later got to know that her first delivery done at a private hospital in Kochi, could have been normal. The pain, the loss of the second child, made her dig the best possible research through good doctors as well as WHO data.

"I am today a health activist; some people call me insane when I meet random pregnant women anywhere and everywhere and warn them against an unreasonable C-section delivery. But I don't care; my aim in life is that no mother loses her child."

And while on phone with her recording this, all I promised her a deep-researched piece to back her aim in life (and also felt deeply sorry, that she had to face this in my country. Sigh.)

#4. Recovery Time Is Longer For C-Section

That's the details from senior gynecologist from Dulwich, Dr Amyra Shugar Chan who says,

"I have delivered more than 50 C-section babies in my career spanning 35 years. Not a single case was done because either the mother wanted or the hospital wanted. Our hospital knows well that C-section birth means more hospital time for mum and baby, and we believe in the soonest and happy return of the duo to their family.

C-section is a major surgery, so till the mother heals it is safer to keep the duo, under medical supervision. Also, it takes a long time for the mother to get back to normal routine, so you would need a help at home for her basic chores for atleast a month, if you want safe healing of her wounds. And all along the couple has to watch-out for any signs of septic or infection around the stitched area on the tummy. An unusual heavy bleeding or sepsis may prove fatal for the mother." 

#5. Twins or more babies could mean a C-section, but not always

Poonam Dutta Yadav, a 36 year-old mother of Saira and Shreyansh from Shimla writes to me, " My doctor had told me she will go my normal delivery as far as possible, but had told me that she will take a chance to go for a C-section if any last minute complication erupts.

Saira was born normal, but Shreyansh got stuck in the passage, he is a heavy baby. So for him doctors had to perform an emergency C-section. Thus, it depends from person to person....and also from doctor to doctor; thankfully we got a genuine doctor."

Her doctor Radhika Singh adds,

"I have even got quadruplets delivered normally, but at times the condition of the mother demands a C-section and other times the position of the child or any other complication. But as far as possible I avoid a C-section surgery which has a lost of postnatal complications."

#6. First C-section doesn't mean a second C-section!

Yes, I had heard exactly the opposite from the topmost doctors in India. And Joana D'costa John shatters the myth on phone from Italy,

"Of course, this depends on why you had the first C-section. Like in my case, I had Herpes and didn't want my child to be infected. However, my second child is a normal birth last year. My husband had done a detailed research on it even before we went for our first official check-up of the fetus since he had seen me struggle for a whole year with postnatal complications after our first C-section baby.

We knew that a second C-section primarily depends on Type of incision in the first case; My medical health and that of our fetus as well as other factors. So when our doctor said our second case was normal, we decided to go for a normal delivery. Though the medical staff was prepared for a C-section one, if any last minute complications arose."

#7. C-section Babies find it tough to breath normal once out

Babies born from a C-section usually require a little more help with their breathing.

"Do ensure that a child specialist is present at the time of such deliveries. They are the only ones who can handle such a complication, which happens in the absence of the child being squeezed out through the vagina, which is actually a pulmonary pressure that creates a vacuum in child lungs ensuring a smooth inhalation once the baby comes in external environs," details Malaysia's Myra Khan, a mother of two whose second child was a C-section delivery and was sent to the ICU for artificial respiration, since he did not breathe for more than 15 seconds. Thankfully the 8-year-old is hale and hearty today. 

#8. Your Anesthesia May Pass to Your Baby

If the C-section takes longer than usual, there are high chances that your child may be drowsy or sleepy when born. And thus, breathing initiation has to be done with immediate effect by the specialists in the delivery team. In case of emergency C-sections, the latter is usually needed. Also nurse your child as soon as you are conscious as the mother's milk helps the baby get alert and suckling helps it breathe safe and better. 

#9. Walk as soon as You can

Lying down gives much relief in pain, but then, in the long run, walking soonest after the C-section will help you heal faster and not invite complications in your bones, especially your back.

"But also be careful how you move, don't exert, take small steps and take it easy. Walking means moving around not working around. Stay active but don;t get back to the routine soonest. Be ready to take help. Rather demand help. Let yourself heal first since your are feeding the baby and your health will affect its health,"

informs Dr Shanthi Menon who not only delivered her grandchild through C-section last year in New Delhi but also ensured that her daughter-in-law had a safe and healthy recovery by providing her 24X7 house help for the next three months, post her surgery. 

Here are some safe yoga poses that you can do during your pregnancy.

#10. Abdominal Binder helps Mother Feel Better soon

Akshara Chandok from India was told by her mother in-law to use it after the C-section. This is what she tells us,"It helps you feel more stable as the contents of the abdomen don't create a pressure from inside and the incision heals faster. I didn’t use mine until after a week or so. My doctor said it as optional. Only when I used it, I realised that I wish I had heard my mom-in-law from the start. It would have offered me great support when I needed it badly, in the initial days post the C-section. So listen to me and stay safe and pain-free." 

Scared after reading the above, especially if your gynaecologist has asked you or someone in your family to go for a C-section?

No, don't reach her with a dagger tomorrow, rather take a second opinion as well as read the following advice. It is coming from 70-year-old senior gynaecologist Krishan C Agarwal who has worked with many top hospitals in India. Dr Agarwal leaves us with 10 pointers below, where C-section is a safer bet for some. 

  1. When the bay is bigger than usual and it is not advisable to put the mother at risk
  2. Breech presentation- When the baby has not aligned itself in the right position to come out of the vagina safely
  3. Any signs of distress in the fetus
  4. When Fetus has an abnormal heart rate
  5. Placental issues/ complications
  6. If the umbilical chord is pinched or compressed at any stage of pregnacy or wrapped around the fetus' neck, putting its life in danger
  7. If the mother has Herpes or HIV, that could infect the child. Yes, it is not always true that an HIV infected mother has an HIV positive child
  8. If the mother has diabetes/high blood pressure, then doctors advise her to stay stressfree and go for a C-section, which in such cases is actual a safer bet
  9. Multiple pregnancies where twins to sextuplets or more are advised to safely arrive on Earth through C-section, especially when the babies are arriving too early. 
  10. At times contractions during labour don’t lead to the cervix opening large enough for allowing the bay to exit safely. This necessitates a C-section

So if you are planning a child go through our article once more and keep it handy.

Also, Click To Share among your circle so that all about-to-be mother in your extended circle can benefit from the ten mothers above and as well as doctors who helped pen this intensive and extensive health piece. 


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Mahima Sharma
An award-winning Independent Journalist & Content Curator based in New Delhi. She is Ex-News Editor, CNN-News18 and ANI (a collaboration with Reuters) who comes with an experience of 14 years in Print, TV and Digital Journalism. She is the only Indian who finds a mention in the Writers' Club of Country Squire Magazine, United Kingdom. Sufi at heart, she also has some 30 poems to her credit at various reputed international podiums.

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