Week 34 – Cesarean Section
Hello. This is Dr. Mauldin. Can you believe that you’re already 34 weeks?
I want to talk briefly about the possibility of having a c-section.
Sometimes, it just isn’t possible for babies to be born through a mother’s vagina. For instance, if you are having twins – there is an increased chance of needing a c-section and nearly all triplet pregnancies will be delivered by c-section.
Some pregnancies are delivered by cesarean because labor does not progress normally. In these cases, perhaps your cervix does not dilate completely or perhaps the baby doesn’t move through the birth canal appropriately. Other times, the baby’s heart rate is not reassuring. Maybe the umbilical cord is compressed or maybe there is not enough blood flowing through the placenta.
Some other reasons may be that your baby is not head-first… or perhaps your placenta is lying over the cervix, which is called a placenta previa. Today, many women who have had a prior c-section choose to have one with their next pregnancies.
Like major surgery, a c-section involves risks. These problems occur in a small number of women and are usually easily treated. With surgery, there can be an increased risk of infection or injury to your skin or internal organs; Sometimes there can be a lot of blood loss – perhaps enough to require a blood transfusion. There is also the possibility of developing blood clots in your legs or in your lungs. But, as I said, these complications are unusual.
Take care of yourself over the next week. I’ll talk to you soon.
Hello. This is Dr. Mauldin and you’re now 35 weeks pregnant.
As your due date is approaching, I’m sure you are both excited and anxious – particularly if this is your first baby. Most women will go into labor between 38 and 42 weeks of pregnancy. However, there is no way to know exactly when you will go into labor.
During these last few weeks, you may feel as if the baby has dropped lower – which means that the baby’s head has settled into your pelvis. You may also notice an increase in your vaginal discharge. Perhaps your mucous plug will fall out as your cervix is beginning to soften or dilate. You could feel watery fluid in a trickle or gush – which would indicate that your membranes had ruptured.
So how can you tell the difference between false labor and the real thing? False labor contractions will be irregular and not get closer together. They are usually not very painful and you’ll probably only feel them in the front. This is compared to true labor – where the contractions will be very regular and gradually increase in strength and get closer to each other. True contractions usually feel like they start in your back and then move to the front.
The following are signs that should prompt you to call your doctor or go to the hospital:
1. If your water breaks – even if you are not having any contraction
2. If you are bleeding from your vagina – meaning some bleeding other than your mucous plug.
3. If you have constant and severe pain with no relief between the contractions, and
4. If you notice that the baby is moving less often.
Try to relax over these next few weeks. This is going to be an exciting time.