Birthing - Caesarian sections

In some cases the mother is not able to deliver a baby through the vaginal canal. This can be due to several possible circumstances. If the baby is in one of several breech positions, such as arm or leg descended, the doctor may elect to perform a caesarian instead of attempting to shift the baby for vaginal delivery. If the baby's head is too large to pass through the pelvic girdle bones, or if the pelvic opening is too small to accommodate even a normal size infant, caesarian section will be performed. Also, if the mother does not dilate entirely or if the contractions are not adequate to push the baby into the birth canal, a caesarian will be performed.

In all these circumstances, caesarians are performed to avoid undue stress on the fetus and the mother during the birthing process. The uterus will only be able to provide life support to the infant for a few days after labor has begun. As the physical status of the placenta deteriorates, the loss of oxygen-rich blood will harm the fetus. The pressure from continued contractions will also eventually stress the fetus. Vaginal walls and the cervical muscle will swell from the extended pressure of contractions. It becomes essential to the health of both the mother and the child that labor not continue for too long.

A caesarian section begins with a local anesthesia to the mother that numbs the belly region. An incision is made after anesthesia that opens a small section of the stomach (usually right above the pubic hair). A second incision is made into the uterine wall. If amniotic fluid remains in the uterus, it will be suctioned away with the same type of tube the dentist uses. The baby is then lifted from the uterus either by hand or by forceps. The umbilical cord is clipped. The placenta may be delivered through the surgical opening. Then both layers of the incision are stitched closed (frequently with metal or plastic clips).

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