In Italy, the Caesarean section is becoming increasingly widespread. The guidelines of the Italian National Institute of Health stress that, in the absence of contraindications, natural childbirth is preferable. What to do when the time of delivery is near? First of all, ask your doctor for all the information about the different options and the reasons that guide choice.
It is a surgical procedure that allows the birth of a baby through an incision made on both the abdominal wall and the mother’s uterus. The incision to facilitate the birth is cut in the lower abdomen and can extend vertically (along the central line of the abdomen) or transversely, above the pubis.
A C-section may be needed in certain medical conditions. For example, when the foetus is still in breech position at the end of pregnancy. Or in the case of placenta previa, i.e., when the placenta prevents the foetus from passing into the birth canal. Or when the mother is diabetic and the baby’s weight is over 4-5 kg.
The date for the procedure is scheduled, together with the gynaecologist and in agreement with the mother, a few weeks before the natural end of the pregnancy.
Generally speaking, a scheduled C-section takes place at about the 38th week of pregnancy, when the unborn child is now formed and mature, and can cope with childbirth without any problems. It is done a couple of weeks before the natural end of pregnancy to avoid spontaneous labour.
Recovery is like that of any other type of surgery. Usually, however, the new mother is invited to get up, take a walk in the room, sit in the armchair already the day after the baby’s birth and in most cases, she can go home two or three days later. The stitches will be removed (or reabsorbed) within a couple of weeks and all new moms say they felt much better after removing the stitches (which can still be a bit tight and annoying).
In the absence of other medical contraindications, a mother-to-be can give birth naturally even after having done a Cesarean section in the past. The technical term used is VBAC, which stands for Vaginal Birth After Cesarean’. Several studies show that 60 to 80% of women who have already undergone a Cesarean section successfully give birth naturally.