5 Things to Know Before Choosing a C-Section

Birth is filled with a million tough decisions. Do you hire a doula? Do you have it in a hospital or at home? Will You get an epidural? One of the toughest choices is if a C-section is right for you, but before you decide for sure, read our list of 5 things you need to know.

Fact 1:A C-section Is Major Surgery
Despite being the most common surgery in the U.S., C-sections are often overlooked as a simple procedure with no major risk factors. Contrary to popular belief, Cesarean deliveries carry a laundry list of dangers including infection, re-hospitalization, decrease in bowel function, increased risk for hysterectomy and bladder damage.

Fact 2: Recovery Is Longer
Although C-sections are often described as the easiest option, when you include both the surgical healing and the long-term healing of the uterus, the recovery takes longer than the 6 weeks post a vaginal birth. In the weeks after delivery, women who've had surgical births often express more discomfort, pain and use more pharmaceutical pain relief.

More on Babble: 10 Pregnancy Facts No One Tells You

Fact 3: Due Dates Aren't Exact
Studies show that elective Cesarean delivery before 39 weeks may increase the risk of a premature delivery of your child due to the inaccuracies in estimated due dates. Infants delivered at 37 weeks gestation are twice as likely to develop complications as those delivered after 39 weeks gestation.

Fact 4: Baby Could Suffer Breathing Difficulties
A 2007 study conducted by the American Academy of Family Physicians showed an increase in the risk of breathing difficulties and longer hospital stays in infants born by non-emergency or elective Cesarean sections. The information proved that in many cases, these babies may not have been to term or ready to be delivered, which increased their likelihood of breathing troubles.

More on Babble: Is There a Link Between Pregnancy Weight Gain and Big Babies?

Fact 5: Placenta Problems Increase
Placenta problems in future pregnancies increase with every surgical birth. One of the most dangerous of these conditions is Placenta Acretta, which is when the placenta grows into the uterine wall, often requiring an emergency hysterectomy. This risk goes from 0.6% with a second C-section to 2.1% with a third C-section, and increases with every C-section thereafter.

For 5 more things to know before you get a c-section, visit Babble.

by Danielle Elwood

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