Things you need to know
- Emergency caesarean is required by mothers during a medical emergency in labour or childbirth that may cause a threat to the life of the mother or child
- Your obstetrician and support team need to take quick decisions and actions during an emergency C-section
- An emergency C-section may also have certain risks and side-effects that can be avoided with timely intervention
What is an emergency C-section?
An emergency C-section is an urgent situation in which the expectant mother’s health is unstable or critical during labour or childbirth and requires immediate clinical intervention in the form of caesarean section.
Emergency caesarean is a birthing option that is utilised during an emergency situation involving life-threatening concerns for the mother and/or child.
What are the reasons for an emergency C-section?
You may need an emergency C-section under the following circumstances:
- Maternal distress
- Prolapsed or tangled umbilical cord
- Placenta abruption
- Uterine rupture
- Disrupted or prolonged labour
- Breech position of the baby in the last minute
- Womb tear
What’s the difference between the types of C-sections?
There are mainly three types of C-section deliveries:
1 ) Scheduled/ planned C-section – A scheduled or planned C-section is one that you and your obstetrician decides on at an earlier stage of your pregnancy, usually months before.
2) Unplanned C-section – An unplanned caesarean is usually decided some weeks, days or hours before childbirth. In such cases, there is usually no medical emergency associated with childbirth.
3) Emergency C-section – An emergency caesarean is done in case of a medical emergency to safeguard the health of the mother and child.
What will happen during an emergency C-section?
The goal of an emergency C-section is to protect the mother and child. Therefore, quick and timely intervention is supreme in such cases. Your obstetrician works in close collaboration with your anaesthetists, midwives, nurses and antenatal care experts to manage the situation. You will be quickly given pain medication and the surgery will be done to deliver the baby.
During an emergency caesarean, your surgeon may make a vertical incision on your uterus to quickly deliver your newborn.
Risks of an emergency C-section
An emergency C-section is associated with the following risks and complications:
Risks to the mother
- an infection at the opening site
- opening or splitting stitches
- injury to the organs near the uterus
- blood loss
- heavy bleeding
- blood clots
- a reaction to the anaesthesia
- not being able to deliver vaginally in the future
Risks to the child
- injury during C-section
- temporary breathing problems