I will save you the lecture I give to medical students and residents. I will save you all the complex medical information and bring it down to why this matters to you.
If you never had a C-section, you should not ask for one unless needed or recommended by your health care provider. Think twice before you ask for a C-section (Cesarean delivery) for non-medical reasons as social convenience, avoiding a timely or painful labor, or other personal reasons. I will not delve into the controversial debate on the ethics of “Cesarean delivery on maternal request (CDMR)”, “patient-choice cesarean” or “cesarean on demand”. I am all for choice and autonomy, you are entitled to decide what is best for you, but you should be empowered with the right to full knowledge of all details and entailed risks.
If you had one previous C-section, you should have a discussion with your health care provider early in your pregnancy about the method of delivery. Most women with one previous C-section are good candidates for a trial of labor, an attempt at a vaginal (natural) delivery.
If you had two previous C-sections, or if you are carrying twins and had one previous C-section, you might be a good candidate for attempting to deliver vaginally according to recently released recommendations by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) in August 2010. Talk to your provider about these options.
I will not be able to provide you with all facts in this brief blog, and each pregnant woman is unique in her needs. The take home message is this:
“You do not anymore need to dismiss the option of having a natural delivery just because you had one or even two previous Cesarean deliveries.”
You have the choice and you should be actively involved in making this decision with your health care provider.