How to decide whether to have an elective c-section

How to decide whether to have an elective c-section

I’ve had two c-sections. My first was a semi-emergency and my second was a semi-emergency/elective c-section. In case you’re wondering how it came to being both, my birth story will tell you why?

After I had my first baby, I had the option of choosing between VBAC or an elective c-section. I decided to go somewhere in the middle by waiting to see what happened; whether I went into spontaneous labour and with an elective c-section date booked after 40 weeks. Looking back and do wish I had a date booked in between 39 and 40 weeks to avoid the week long early labour stage.

Making a decision to have an elective c-section is hugely personal to you. You need to weigh up the pros, cons and the risks, and consider whether it is right for you. Some mothers need to have them on medical grounds whereas other mothers will opt to have them for no medical reason. Whatever the reason opting to have an elective c-section is your choice and you shouldn’t be made to feel that the decision is the wrong decision.

Here are some of the ways to go about making the decision whether to have an elective c-section.

Have you had a c-section in the past?

If so this will drive your decision to have another one or not. You may have no choice but to have one, or you may have the choice between a VBAC or an elective c-section. When I was pregnant with my second child I had this choice, and to be honest I didn’t mind either way. Having another c-section didn’t scare me, as I knew it would possibly be the safest option for myself and my baby. If we do ever have another baby I would have no choice but to have another c-section due to having two in the past. For you speak to your healthcare team and evaluate based on your past experiences whether a future elective c-section is the right decision.

Your previous birth experience?

This could play a major part in whether you opt to have an elective c-section. If you had a pretty traumatic birth experience the first time round, you may wish not to experience anything like that again. Having an elective c-section can take away the worry you may have in the lead up to your birth, and may also mean you do not experience a traumatic birth again. It could also mean that you have a far more controlled and calm birth experience too.

How you feel about the recovery period?

When I was given the choice between a VBAC or an elective c-section one of the things that was worrying me was the recovery period and having a toddler to look after. I knew how hard it would be to do anything at home for the first few weeks, let alone look after my daughter. In reality having another c-section meant that I had to rest and I had to rely on my husband and family to do pretty much everything. The blessing about this is that it gave me lots of time to bond with my baby, and ultimately recover from the birth.

So those are all the points that I took into consideration when I was deciding whether to have an elective c-section.

As soon as you find out you’re pregnant start weighing up your options. Speak to your midwife and consultant (if you have one). Do your research and decide what is best for you. Remember it is no one else’s decision but yours, and also don’t feel shamed or embarrassed if you have decide to have one. Child birth is child birth, no matter how to baby enters the world. The hard part is getting through the fourth trimester after you’ve had your baby.

Did you have an elective c-section? I would love to hear your reasons why you opted to have one.

Claire x


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