When to opt for a C-section When to opt for a C-section

When choosing how to give birth, medical reasons should be given priority over preferences or fears. The idea is to be well-informed before making a decision.

While the birth rate in Colombia has lowered over the years, the rate of C-sections is steadily increasing. The fact that this method is becoming more common is grounds for health care institutions to stay alert: while the objective of a C-section is to reduce maternal and child morbidity, the procedure also involves risks that a mother who is able to have a vaginal birth should not be subject to.

The Colombian Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics, along with the Colombian Federation of Perinatology (Fecopen), explain that C-sections should be “…made by clinical decisions, based on individual values and conditions.”

So, when should a C-section be performed?

  • When vaginal births have complications that put the mother or child at risk, such as prolonged labor or other delivery complications.
  • When the mother has medical or physical problems such as heart failure or a narrow pelvis that inhibits pushing in a natural birth.
  • When the baby is too big or has a physical deformity.
  • When the baby is not in the right position, such as a seated (breach) position.
  • When the healthcare professional identifies there is a latent risk to the life of the baby or mother.

Disadvantages of a C-section:

  • Increases bleeding and risk of hemorrhages.
  • Increases risk of hospital-acquired infections.
  • Reduces mobility and slows the recovery from the healing process, which makes it challenging to take care of the newborn.
  • Increases the chances for complications in future pregnancies.
  • Risk of cutting the baby’s skin.
  • Risk of serious injury when the baby is taken out, such as fractures.

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