Ask an expert

16 Feb 2004

Pro's and Cons of C-Section
Please help. I am 22 weeks pregnant and have been battling with a decision ever since I discovered I was pregnant - much to my horror! See, this was not planned, I never wanted kids, but now that one is on the way I will learn to deal with it and make the most of it. My problem is that I am in two minds about an elective c-section. A lot of women have told me their stories of natural birth and tearing and I refuse to tear. I do not want that at all. I also do not want the humiliation of losing bowel control during natural birth and I am also doubtful about whether I will handle it very well. I am not someone who deals with pain and uncontrolled situations well at all. I tense and stress very easily, and I am afraid that may make natural birth a nightmare for me. This whole birth - whether natural or c-section - terrifies me and I have a supportive partner but I do not think he realises how terrified I am. I don't want to get hurt and I don't want any complications with the baby. Please give me the honest and technical pro's and cons of a c-section. My gynae is happy to do a c-section - he says he prefers not to encourage natural birth if a woman is too afraid of it. I am not too concerned about the scar or the stitches - I already have a horizontal appendix scar. Please tell me about the rest. Can I lift the baby afterwards? Will I be able to handle the spinal block/epidural? Can I breastfeed immediately? Are the risks higher than with natural birth? Is the catheter painful?
Answer 415 views

01 Jan 0001

There is an increased risk with a caesarean section. This involves anaesthetic complications, bleeding or infection. While increased over natural birth, these risks are, however, quite small. You should be able to hold the baby afterwards, though you may not be able to lift it for the first 24 hours or so. You can start breastfeeding immediately. The catheter is uncomfortable but not painful. The spinal takes away pain sensation but you may still feel some tugging. A bit like being at the dentist.

Best wishes
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
Voting Booth
Have you entered our Health of the Nation survey?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
33% - 9360 votes
67% - 19292 votes