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According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 30 percent of all births in the United States are performed via cesarean delivery (C-section). Below, we explore common questions surrounding C-section births, including why your doctor may recommend it and why vaginal births are still the preferred delivery method.
There are a number of reasons why your doctor may recommend a cesarean delivery. Common examples include:
Examples of contraindications include:
One of the key reasons why vaginal birth is preferable to cesarean include the risks associated with surgery. These risks typically include: bleeding, infection, and risk to other nearby abdominal organs, such as the bladder, bowel, major blood vessels, and nerves.
Additionally, patients tend to have a shorter recovery time after a vaginal delivery. They typically experience less blood loss, a shorter hospital stay, and earlier resumption of activity – including exercise.
We typically counsel patients to expect to spend 2-4 nights in the hospital following a cesarean delivery. Full recovery is estimated at approximately six weeks. It can take 3-4 weeks before a patient is able to drive, following a cesarean.
Patients who deliver vaginally can expect to stay in the hospital 1 – 2 nights.
The major difference between a vaginal delivery versus a C-section comes in the recovery process. It takes more time to achieve ambulation (ability to walk around), eating a regular diet, and pain control to be able to carry out daily activities with a C-section versus vaginal delivery.
Typically, a cesarean delivery will take approximately one hour. It can take longer if there is a history of prior abdominal surgery or prior cesarean due to the presence of scar tissue.
About Elizabeth Jarvis, MD
Dr. Jarvis is an OB/GYN with WakeMed Physician Practices. Her clinical interests include fertility, abnormal uterine bleeding, minimally invasive and robotic-assisted surgery, family planning and contraception, high risk and routine obstetrics care.
3000 New Bern Ave.
Raleigh, NC 27610