What are the Risks Associated with a Caesarian Section


Caesarean sections have become increasingly common, with many women opting for this procedure to avoid labor pains or potential complications of vaginal birth. However, it’s important to recognize that it carries risks for both the baby and the mother.

Risks for the Baby:

  1. Breathing Problems: Babies delivered by C-section have a higher risk of developing transient tachypnea of the newborn, characterized by abnormally rapid breathing in the first few days after birth. This risk is elevated in elective C-sections before 39 weeks of pregnancy or before completing full term (37 weeks) due to immature lungs.
  2. Fetal Injury: While rare, accidental nicks or cuts to the baby’s skin or other body parts can occur during the surgical procedure.

Risks for the Mother:

  1. Longer Recovery: Compared to vaginal delivery, recovery time after a C-section is longer. Mothers may require assistance for several weeks to manage household tasks and care for themselves and their baby.
  2. Infection: There is a risk of inflammation and infection of the uterus, known as endometritis, characterized by symptoms like fever, chills, back pain, and foul-smelling vaginal discharge. Antibiotics, including intravenous administration, may be necessary.
  3. Increased Bleeding: Blood loss during C-section may be higher than during vaginal birth, although most women do not require blood transfusions unless complications arise or they are anemic.
  4. Reactions to Anesthesia: Anesthesia-related complications, such as allergic reactions or headaches due to spinal fluid leakage, can occur.
  5. Blood Clots: The formation of blood clots in the legs or pelvic organs is more common after a C-section, with the potential for life-threatening complications if clots travel to the lungs (pulmonary embolism).
  6. Surgical Injury: There is a risk of injury to nearby organs during the C-section procedure, necessitating additional surgery for repair.
  7. Increased Risk in Future Pregnancies: Subsequent pregnancies after C-section may carry a higher risk of complications such as the need for repeat C-sections, bleeding, placenta previa, or uterine rupture along the scar line from previous C-sections.

Understanding these risks can help women make informed decisions about their delivery options and prepare for potential complications associated with C-sections.