What is a Cesarean-Section Delivery?
C-section delivery – definition
A C-section (Cesarean-section – USA or Caesarean-section – UK/AUS) is the delivery of a baby by a Surgeon or Doctor. The Surgeon makes an incision in the abdomen and uterus of the mother to enable extraction of the baby from the womb. Cesarean-sections are commonly called C-sections and are performed in pregnancies where the health of the baby and/or mother is at risk. Indications for Cesarean section are listed below. Cesarean section deliveries are sometimes scheduled in advance. However, they are often performed as an Emergency Cesarean/Unplanned C-Section in response to an unforeseen complication that occurs during an attempted vaginal delivery. The World Health Organisation indicates that medically required cesarean/caesarean deliveries should comprise about 15% of all deliveries, but medical surgical statistics indicate C-Sections are on the rise in many developed countries and in private hospitals, with up to 1 in 3 pregnancies involving a cesarean-vs-vaginal delivery.
There are two primary types of Cesarean-Section Deliveries:
- Planned and scheduled C-Sections, usually scheduled for around 39-40 weeks of gestation (average).
- Unplanned or Emergency C-Section procedures
Definition of VBAC
- A vaginal birth after a cesarean delivery for a prior pregnancy.
- Also known as attempted vaginal delivery after a c-section.
What is the success rate of VBAC (Vaginal Birth after Cesarean delivery)?
- Although many women would like to attempt a vaginal delivery after a C-section, only about 15% tend to do so.
- Of these women, 6 to 8 in 10 are able to give birth vaginally and 20% to 40% may require a repeat or unplanned C-section.
- Further reading: Successful VBAC after two C-Sections
Australia C-Section Statistics and Increase in Caesarean Deliveries from Health.gov.au
Pregnancy C-Section Surgery Growth Statistics in Australia
- Growth of C-section deliveries vs vaginal deliveries in Australia grew most significantly from 1998 to 2009, where they have levelled off at approximately 1 in 3 pregnancies/deliveries.
- There was a significant difference in the number of Caesarean section being performed in Private vs Public hospitals.
Caesarean Deliveries: Private vs Public Hospitals (Australia Statistics)
Cesarean vs Vaginal Deliveries Statistics: Queensland – rates grew from 24% to over 33% per study published in 2009.
USA C-Section Statistics:
Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control – 2015 Data
Cesarean vs Vaginal Deliveries Statistics: 32% C-Section vs 68% Vaginal Delivery (nearly 1 in 3 pregnancies)
WHO – World Health Organisation’s Information on Cesarean/Caesarean deliveries and increasing C-Section numbers in developed countries.
- The World Health Organisation (WHO) has concerns about the increase in cesarean section deliveries vs vaginal deliveries especially since the late 1990s/early 2000s.
- The WHO has issued a statement about Caesarean deliveries being limited to only those which are medically necessary.
- The World Health Organisation (WHO) indicates the number of medically-indicated C-section deliveries should be approximately 10% to 15% on average, well below rates in developed countries that exceed 24% to over 33% or more.
Further Scientific references and Medical Indications/Surgery recommended reading on C-section vs Vaginal delivery statistics and safety:
Cesarean Birth Videos – Caesarean vs Vaginal Delivery (Education Videos)
- Differences in vaginal vs cesarean-section deliveries can be seen in educational videos (source: Nucleus Medical Media – Medical Media Videos/YouTube Channel).
- Our recommended Video selections from Nucleus Medical Media for explanations and visual demonstrations of Cesarean-Section Delivery vs Vaginal Canal Delivery methods are:
Common Questions about Cesarean-Section Deliveries and C-Section Scars
“Can I attempt a vaginal delivery after a C-Section or multiple Cesarean/Caesarean deliveries?”
- Many women DO have successful vaginal deliveries after having a C-section delivery; but it’s important to understand the potentially increased risks and consequences.
- These risks of having a vaginal delivery after a C-section lead many women to have subsequent Cesarean deliveries of additional children/further pregnancies.
- In many studies about preferences and attempted vaginal deliveries after a cesarean, roughly half of polled women PREFERRED to attempt a vaginal delivery after giving birth via a C-section/Cesarean delivery or deliveries, however, most women had a repeat C-section for their second or third deliveries/birth experiences due to risks.
- Mayo Clinic’s information on vaginal delivery vs caesarean delivery after a primary C-section delivery.
- Systematic reviews of clinical studies of pregnancies involving TWINS did not show strong evidence in support of planned C-sections although a percentage of women who planned a vaginal birth did go on to have a cesarean delivery of at least one twin.
- In an Australian study on Breech pregnancies and c-section delivery methods, 45% of women who planned/attempted a vaginal delivery did end up having a cesarean section.
“What are the risks or concerns about attempted vaginal deliveries after Cesarean deliveries?”
- The main complication of concern after a C-section, if you’re planning on attempting a vaginal delivery, is potential rupture of the uterus.
- In an Australian publication of delivery methods (vaginal vs caesarean), the similarity between first child birth methods and second child birth methods was about 85% (meaning you are likely to give birth the same way for future pregnancies as you did in your first pregnancy). This can vary, however, and a number of women who had a prior C-section DO go on to have vaginal delivery of future child or children.
- Other complications and risks can be found in the Pregnancy Educational Source links below.
“Does having twins mean you have a higher risk of needing a C-section (Caesarean delivery)?”
- Yes, but not always.
- Many women DO successfully give birth to twins using vaginal delivery methods; but in some cases, C-section delivery is pre-scheduled for either cautionary reasons and medical reasons if the delivering Doctor has concerns about the mother’s health or the well-being of the twins.
Twin Pregnancies (multiparous) – Preplanned cesarean deliveries vs emergency or unplanned cesarean sections:
- In a review of studies about C-sections in twin pregnancies, women who had twins who planned for a vaginal delivery ended up with C-section delivery of at least one twin in 42.9% of cases.
- That means that for planned vaginal deliveries of twins, just under 6 in 10 women gave birth without requiring a C-section.
- This research information may be potentially biased in terms of population demographics and pregnancy outcomes.
Having Twins? You might need a C-section – but you might not!
- Check with your preferred OBY/GNY or Delivery Doctor – and follow his or her advice.
- Be sure you attend all prenatal appointments.
- Read a story about a women who had very large twins who ended up with split ab muscles that required a corrective Tummy Tuck.
Recommended reading/medical resources and Sources for this article.
What pregnancy does to your breast and tummy skin: C-Section Scars and Stretch Marks
Complication Risks of Attempted Vaginal Delivery after C-Section/Caesarean Delivery
Delivery Options for Second pregnancy following Caesarean-Section Delivery in First pregnancy
If you have a C-section, can anything be done about the scar?
- It depends on numerous factors.
- Sometimes treatments for a fresh c-section scar (not a mature scar) can help reduce the risks of keloid scar formation or reduce the scar’s pigmentation formation.
- Treatments might include silicone strips, skin needling with SkinPen or DermaPen, Fraxel Laser treatments or other advanced non-surgical techniques.
- For non-surgical options, ask for an appointment at Coco Ruby Skin & Anti-ageing to assess what your options are (fresh scars only).
- For mature scars and excess belly skin, a Tummy Tuck might be able to help depending on where the scar is located and what the skin condition is.
- Abdominoplasty CANNOT help you with stretch marks per se, but the REDUCED skin volume and reduced SKIN APRON – plus skin tightening effects of that skin reduction and body contouring – can give you a smoother, less-crepey looking belly area (but you’ll still have stretch marks although less skin, and less crinkling of the skin, in that area, plus a flatter looking belly or more defined waistline contours.
This blog is due for publication on 12 September 2018.
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