Having had a Cesarean Section delivery, there are likely to be apprehensions and questions facing a new mother, about the advisability and safety of future deliveries. Hearing about complications in the case of pregnancy after c section, such as uterine rupture and so on can be frightening to say the least.
We look at some of the common apprehensions about a pregnancy after C section that many women may have.
How long should I wait for a pregnancy after having a C section and why?
It is medically advisable to wait between 18 to 23 months after having undergone a C section to try and conceive again.
Though this is the same advice that is given to women who have delivered vaginally as well, in the case of C sections this is important for a number of reasons.
- The average recovery time for a C section is longer than the recovery time for a vaginal delivery.
- A C section is considered to be major abdominal surgery and the actual healing of the incision made in the uterus and the abdominal wall takes time to heal completely.
- The blood loss that occurs as a result of a C section is twice as much as the amount of blood lost when a baby is delivered vaginally, so that blood loss also has to be recouped.
- The idea of waiting for a significant amount of time to conceive after a C section is to give a woman’s body to heal fully from the rigors of childbirth and also to get used to motherhood sufficiently.
- The risk of complications and low birth weight rises if pregnancy occurs too soon after a C section.
What are the possible complications that could occur in a pregnancy after C section?
There is a possible complication that could occur as a result of a previous C section – it is called uterine rupture and can be life threatening. It is the possibility of the uterus rupturing along the incision scar from the previous delivery and is more likely to occur when a woman undergoes a vaginal delivery after a C section (VBAC).
In any case, the risk of a uterine rupture is low; and this complication is rarely seen to occur. Even a year’s time is usually plenty of time for the uterus and abdominal wall to heal fully; the 18 to 23 month prescription is as and by way of abundant caution and because there are also other benefits to spacing children adequately.
This is regardless of mode of delivery. So if one does get pregnant a year after a C section there is no reason to panic.
The bottom line regarding pregnancy after C section
It is best suggested to wait at least a year after having delivered to get pregnant again, but this is not a hard and fast rule. However, the longer you wait the better it can be, but each woman should take a decision after consulting with her doctor and after assessing all factors such as her personal health and age and specific circumstances.