During labour, your doctor may decide for C-section right away. This can be a sudden decision if you or baby's health takes a turn for the worse and it’s too risky to continue labour. Remember that keeping you and baby safe is the priority!
A Cesarean section, also called a C-section or LSCS (lower segment cesarean section), is an operation to deliver the baby through the tummy when it is not advisable to deliver the baby naturally. A C-section can be planned (elective) or emergency.
#1. If I had a previous C-section, will I need another one in the next pregnancy?
There are pros and cons for a repeat C-section. However, most women who have a C-section are more likely to have one in the future.
VBAC (vaginal birth after C-section) is still possible and discuss with your obstetrician. However, there are some factors to consider:
The indication for previous C-section
Current pregnancy complication
Placenta and baby position
Estimated weight of baby
The previous Cesarean section
There are again several factors to be considered in the previous C-section. These include:
The type of incision on the womb
The reason for C-section
There are typically 2 types of incisions — classical or lower segment (more common). A classical incision refers to a vertical cut in the upper part of the womb. Women with previous classical section are not suitable for VBAC as there is a high risk of scar tear. A lower segment C-section (LSCS) refers to a transverse cut in the lower part of the womb. This is associated with a lower risk of scar rupture. Patients with a previous LSCS may opt for VBAC.
If the reason for the previous C-section is a recurring one such as a small pelvis (i.e. the pelvis is too narrow for birth), then the woman is not suitable for VBAC.
If certain conditions exist that prevents a safe natural delivery, a VBAC will then not be suitable. These conditions include low placenta or if baby is breech (butt down) or transverse lie.
Medical or Surgical problems
Certain medical conditions such as heart disease or severe high blood pressure will prevent the woman from enduring the physical stress of a vaginal delivery. Previous operation to remove large fibroids may result in scar tear. In these situations, VBAC will not be suitable.
After a Cesarean section, women are less likely to start breastfeeding in the first hour, but if they do start they are just as likely to continue breastfeeding like those who have a natural delivery.
#2. When is it safe for me to conceive again after C-section?
The wound will heal fully after 6-8 weeks and the womb returns to normal state. Thus, theoretically, it will be safe to conceive after 6-12 months. However, do take into account the physical and emotional stress of coping with a newborn. Thus, conceive again only when you are ready for your next kid.
Important: The risk of scar tear is not dependent on the period of break after the C-section.