Are There Ways to Avoid a C-Section?

Cringing at the thought of a c-section? Find out why cesareans are performed and if there's a way to prevent the need for one.
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Updated April 28, 2017

Anxious to avoid a c-section? Unfortunately, in most cases cesareans happen out of necessity—because baby can’t be delivered vaginally, no matter what you or your doctor does to help her along.

You might need a c-section if baby is breech (bottom first) or transverse (sideways). Your doctor can try to move the baby into the proper (head-down) position, but this doesn’t always work. You may also need a c-section if baby is especially large or you have placenta previa (when the placenta covers the cervix and blocks baby’s exit).

Sometimes complications during labor force doctors to deliver a baby by c-section. If labor stalls (meaning the cervix stops dilating); baby’s heart rate slows or becomes irregular; the umbilical cord slips through the cervix (a “prolapsed cord”); or the placenta separates from the uterine wall (placental abruption), your doctor will perform a c-section.

Try not to worry. Good prenatal care will boost your chances of delivering vaginally and handling any complications that might arise. No matter how baby travels from your uterus to your arms, you’ll be thrilled to pieces when he or she arrives!

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

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