Posted by: babybumper | September 30, 2010

Dangers of Cesarean Surgery for mom and baby

“You sure are judgmental about childbirth!”

My sister said this to me this weekend (love you sis!). I tried to explain to her that some things are not personal preference, but fact-based.

  • Is riding with your seatbelt on better or worse than going free? Research says resoundingly: Seatbelt.
  • Is it better to drive drunk or sober? Sober.
  • Are vegetables or cookies healthier? Vegetables.

Some things in life are personal preference; some are clearly superior and healthier. There is misinformation rampant about childbirth, common beliefs about health that contradict research. This is what I am passionate about. Not a judgment call or personal preference, but a passion for healthy families based on evidence.

My 2 main passions from proven science include:

  1. Breastfeeding is superior in every way to formula. Undisputable. Thus I will engage in breastfeeding promotion.
  2. Vaginal deliveries are superior to Cesarean surgery. No contest. Thus I will fight for C-Section prevention.

Some people think a scheduled Cesarean surgery is the best, easiest, healthiest way to have a baby. Although C-sections are responsible and helpful in some situations, for 90% of women and babies, they are drastically more dangerous than a vaginal delivery. Today I want to tell you the risks for a Cesarean surgery compared to a vaginal birth. Items in bold indicate a very high risk based on research.

Where's Mom? By Santa Rosa

Risks for Baby

  • Breathing Difficulties
  • Not breastfeeding
  • Asthma as child and adult
  • Accidentally cut during surgery (usually mild)
  • Increase in death by 10-20%
  • Increase in number of babies admitted to NICU for 7 days or longer (not counting preterm babies)

Risks for Mama

  • Accidental injury to other organs: Bladder, bowel, and ureter
  • Infection
  • Severe,  long-lasting  pain
  • Longer time in hospital
  • Poor birth experience
  • Less early contact with baby
  • Psychological trauma
  • Breastfeeding difficulties
  • 13 times more likely to have an emergency hysterectomy within 14 days of delivery
  • Over 3 times more likely to die
  • Life-threatening bleeding
  • Heart attack after delivery
  • Internal bleeding at wound site
  • Embolism

Mom's View by Grendellion

Risks for Next Pregnancy

  • Less likely to have another baby (by choice)
  • Infertility
  • Placenta previa- placenta implanting over the cervix- making vaginal delivery impossible and a high risk of life-threatening bleeding
  • Ectopic pregnancy- baby implants in a tube instead of the uterus, impossible to grow into a viable baby
  • Placenta accretia- placenta grows through the wall of the uterus, high risk for life-threatening bleeding
  • Placenta abruption- the placenta separating from uterus, life threatening emergency to baby and mama
  • Rupture of uterus- life threatening
  • Premature birth
  • Lower birthweight
  • Baby to have a physical anomaly to brain or spinal cord

A Cesarean section is a major, risky surgery. Delivery by surgery is only indicated when unfortunately the risks of the surgery for mama and baby are less than the risks of a vaginal delivery. One of my goals as a Nurse and Blogger is to promote ways to prevent and discourage things that increase Cesarean deliveries. After reviewing the risks of the surgery, you can see why I am passionate about preventing “The Unnecesarean.”



  1. Great one!

    “Are vegetables or cookies healthier? Vegetables.”
    Loved that.

  2. […] 26% less likely to give birth by cesarean surgery […]

  3. […] Cesarean Surgery […]

  4. […] Tetanic contractions- a large, long contraction during which the baby does not get any oxygen, may be an emergency for baby (Cesarean Section) […]

  5. […] a Cesarean surgery, as the drugs used to numb you cause so much fatigue, and recovering from major surgery is […]

  6. […] Surgery is not the ideal way to birth a baby. Through creativity and boldness, however, you can still create an environment where a baby can transition from the womb to the world and feel safe, secure, and treasured. […]

  7. […] Surgery is not the ideal way to birth a baby. Through creativity and boldness, however, you can still create an environment where a baby can transition from the womb to the world and feel safe, secure, and treasured. […]

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