General Question

whitecarnations's avatar

Can a woman request a cesarean procedure in California?

Asked by whitecarnations (1635 points ) March 9th, 2012

My wife isn’t looking forward to the big push. Can she request a cesarean?

What are major risks involved?

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39 Answers

tom_g's avatar

Wow. She’s electing to have major surgery? I urge the both of you to research this beyond Fluther. My wife had 2 births at home without medication and was walking around like nothing happened. Talk to someone who had to go through a c-section.

SpatzieLover's avatar

I wouldn’t recommend it. However, she could doctor shop until she finds a doctor that says yes.

The major risks: Death, infection, longer healing time, higher chance at a need for a hysterectomy, the list goes on.

Pertinent article: More C-sections, More Complications

gasman's avatar

Avoidance of labor is not a valid indication for c-section in an otherwise healthy woman with no previous c-sections. It’s major surgery inside the abdominal cavity, with attendant risks that can’t be justified without a medical reason.

Besides risks of major bleeding & infection, there are increased anesthetic risks and a longer & more painful recovery to consider. Plus there are delayed effects such as formation of abdominal adhesions that may occur years after surgery. C-section babies also have a somewhat higher risk of respiratory problems. Don’t forget that once a c-section, pretty much always a c-section (VBAC less common now than previously) for future childbirth.

Good luck finding an OB/GYN willing to cooperate.

That said, lots of deliveries these days are by c-section & obviously the vast majority of them do just fine. But risk analysis favors vaginal delivery over surgical delivery, all other factors equal.

Keep_on_running's avatar

She definitely has a right to ask for one, hopefully you find a good doctor that won’t bring in his/her own personal beliefs into the decision.

SuperMouse's avatar

She may want to discuss it with her doctor, there could very well be legalities involved, but I would be surprised if there are. It is most likely between your wife and her OB/Gyn. FYI, I had my first two babies vaginally and my third was a c-section. I’ll take the “big push” any day. While the pushing was a challenge (two solid hours with the first), the recovery was much, much quicker and easier.

JLeslie's avatar

She can probably find a doctor who will do it. I made sure that my OBGYN was willing to plan a C because I have vulvar and vaginal problems, and some doctors did not acknowledge the problems I have, let alone do a C for me. Having said that if I was perfectly normal and healthy I would never elect to have a C-section.

Nullo's avatar

I second the above: a surgery that you don’t need is a surgery that you shouldn’t have, just because so much can go wrong.

janbb's avatar

Major surgery is not a great alternative to trying vaginal childbirth. I had two and the post-operative pain and recovery were do-able but not pleasant. Why not just look into various options for pain management during vaginal delivery?

whitecarnations's avatar

How can I find out if there are M.D.s who can employ a water birth?

SpatzieLover's avatar

Call birthing centers and hospitals or look them up on the Net. There are several here where I reside that will do this, though it’s more commonly done with a midwife.

wilma's avatar

I have had three natural deliveries and a c-section. One of the vaginal deliveries was after the Cesarian. (VBAC)
The recovery after the c-section was much more difficult and painful than any of the vaginal recoveries. I was unable to care for my own baby right away. That bothered me a lot.
I had to stay in the hospital a lot longer, I couldn’t drive few a couple of weeks.
I do not recommend that anyone have a Cesarian unless there is a very good reason.
Please check into what pain management options that you might have and save the Cesarian for when it is medically necessary.

Sunny2's avatar

I had two Caesarian deliveries because my bones were too close together or something. Annoyed the hell out of me because I’d always been self-conscious of my big butt. Since I had no choice, that’s what I did. I was in the hospital for 2 days and it took a couple weeks to fully recover my energy, but it wasn’t awful. As a choice, I don’t know. I could never brag about how awful the delivery pain was. Some one else will have to tell about going through labor.
Learning about the pain management is probably the way to go.

janbb's avatar

I did 22 hours of labor and pushing with my first before having to have a C-section. The pain of moving for the first days post-surgery was more memorable than the labor pains.

cheebdragon's avatar

Yes, you just schedule it thru your obstetrician. You have to stay in the hospital longer and the recovery is a lot longer and more painful, honestly you should just do a normal delivery and take the epidural.

wilma's avatar

The pain of moving for the first days post-surgery was more memorable than the labor pains.
I absolutely agree with @janbb . The pain from the surgery was much more prolonged than the pain from labor and pushing. Getting out of bed and walking was much more difficult.
Your wife will want to hold her baby and care for it. She will want to be looking at her child and feeding him/her. Those things will be much more difficult after a major surgery than after a normal delivery.

Rarebear's avatar

As someone who has done both deliveries and c sections I completely agree with the above.

zenvelo's avatar

My ex, after her second medically necessary c-section, had an incision that wouldn’t heal. She had twice-a-day nurse visits to clean and repack the wound and then rebandage it. That went on for a full month.

The wound never really healed, and only got better when she had a follow up surgery to put in a mesh support for her abdominal cavity that had failed after two pregnancies and two C-sections.

And, your insurance won’t cover it. Probably $25,000 minimum if no complications, and they might not even pay to cover complications from an elective procedure.

keobooks's avatar

I wish I went though labor rather than a C section. Unfortunately, my daughter had a big Charlie Brown head and she couldn’t drop down into the birth canal. I never dilated and she seemed to have plans to stay inside me until she was ready for college. The doctors knew this was going to happen a month or so before she was due so we were prepared.

It hurt like HELL a day or so afterwards and I couldn’t get off the floor from a sitting position by myself for several months. It seems like the easy out, but no.. surgery is most likely always worse than the natural way.

Dutchess_III's avatar

What is she so scared of? I could understand it if it was 100 years ago and woman had to tough it out with no drugs, but the whole thing can be pain free today.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
SpatzieLover's avatar

Wow @whitecarnations. Seriously, I was looking forward to the big push. Maybe you & your wife should put things into a different perspective. Some women have incredible pain & agony every day of their pregnancy, so much so that they count the days to their due date, praying that it comes on or before the date the doctor predicts. I sure did

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
Response moderated (Unhelpful)
Dutchess_III's avatar

:) Saw that comin’!

I gave birth to two kids without using drugs of any kind. Looking back, it was kind of dumb, but I guess I always just wanted to say “I did it.” I did it. So there. I said it. Want to hear it again?? LOL!

Watching my daughter give birth….after a couple of hours she asked for an epidural. The difference was amazing. No pain at all. She was in the middle of a contraction and didn’t even realize it til I pointed it out to her.

Yes, it can be pain free. From what I’ve seen, totally pain free. A C-sec will keep your wife in pain for weeks afterward. Natural delivery will leave her uncomfortable for a few days after.

SpatzieLover's avatar

Don’t know why mine was modded when I flagged those

Labor day was less painful than all the days of my pregnancy. I looked forward to the day of pushing.

whitecarnations's avatar

@Dutchess_III Well although your first answer is condescending and suggestive of how non tough my wife is (as if giving birth is just a walk in the park) I can respect your second answer, somewhat. There still is pain even with an epidural though the shot itself is painful. Let’s not get that twisted.

SpatzieLover's avatar

The pain of an epidural is minimal compared to surgical healing.

Ela's avatar

Tell her the truth. The pros and cons of not having a vaginal birth. Some women feel compelled to have a baby vaginally. It’s like part of a passage or something. I don’t know because I didn’t feel that way about it.
With my first son, I was scared to death to give birth. I loved being pregnant but I just wanted the baby to magically appear out of me. I was so scared to go into labor but then when I found out I was going to have to have a cesarean , I was petrified. I had never been in the hospital before or had any kind of surgery. My ex was no help and just made me feel bad for being scared.
I found out on Friday that I was going to have to go in Monday for it. I cried all weekend. I hate needles and had no idea what to expect. I jittered the entire time and had a mantra running through my head I repeated over and over and over. I pretty much blocked everyone out, including my ex. During surgery, my blood pressure dropped dramatically but my anesthesiologist was awesome and got it back up, my obstetrician was the best also. Everything went very well and I bounced back amazingly quick and without any complications.
My second son I could have had vaginally but I chose then to have another cesarean (along with my thrid son) and absolutely have no regrets.

Dutchess_III's avatar

My first answer was NOT condescending. I don’t know what she is afraid of. I was very serious when I said I could certainly understand her fear of the pain if there was nothing anyone could do about it (believe you me, it hurts like HELL…it goes beyond mere “pain” if you’re dumb enough to go through it like I did!) but that isn’t the case, so I’m still curious…what is she scared of?

Dutchess_III's avatar

@EnchantingEla Awww…. :( I’m sorry. I wish you could have been HERE when you were going through all of that. We could have talked to you, tried to ease your mind. I’m glad everything came out ok..I mean, “everyone.”...uhg!

whitecarnations's avatar

@Dutchess_III The pain of course. She’s been looking over the options and has seen enough of unsuccessful epidurals (I understand the timing can be somewhat tricky with induced labor). And if you’re a teacher I’m sure when someone goes off in a tangent with an original post that some sort bias and opinion is formed. Because I did not ask what anyone to really question what we were doing which was merely going over options. Anyways I’m over it. Thanks all.

Dutchess_III's avatar

So, what do you think now @whitecarnations? It’s good that you’re in there for your wife.

SuperMouse's avatar

@whitecarnations FYI, even if she has a c-section she will likely have to have an epidural, then she’ll have both.

Ela's avatar

Thanks @Dutchess_III : )
@SuperMouse I had spinal blocks but that was also 12 years ago. I suppose that would be up to the doctor.

JLeslie's avatar

If she has not seen births of c-sections and vaginal, for God’s sake watch a few. There is no reason anyone should be completely afraid of the unknown when it comes to the birth process. I have never had a baby, and I am sure I can’t imagine exactly what it feels like, what the experience is like, and for sure each birth has its own uniqueness, but if you watch a bunch of vaginal births, overall the women do just fine. It will make you feel better about it in my opinion.

Why not find a doctor who is fine with doing an elective C, but who also is willing to wait for labor, and then she can decide during the process if she wants to go ahead and just do the C-section, be able to do either.

Seaofclouds's avatar

Your wife can discuss a cesarean section with her doctor, but most doctor’s will not perform a cesarean section without a medical need for one because of the increased risks and costs.

If your wife is concerned about the pain, there are a lot of options for pain control during labor these days. Your wife should discuss her fears and options with her doctor. The sooner she starts talking to them about everything, the more time they have to come up with a plan.

Epidurals are one option for pain control. There are also IV medications that can be given for pain through an IV as needed. Some OB’s will even use nitrous oxide (though it’s rare). All ways have their risks and benefits, that’s why it’s important for you guys to talk to your doctor sooner than later to start coming up with a plan. Good luck.

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t know if pain is the only concern? I don’t remember reading the specific concerns? Some women do get a little messed up down there from vaginal births.

Dutchess_III's avatar

By the way, if I take the details in your question literally….if she were to do the whole thing without drugs the pushing is the least painful part. It’s a huge, huge relief, actually. That may be counter-intuitive, but that just tells you how painful the contractions are, that whatever pain there is from pushing the baby out isn’t even noticeable.

JLeslie's avatar

@Dutchess_III My friends who had epidurals complained about pushing for a long time. I had one friend who did it without any drugs, and her first baby the doctor said, “ready to start pushng?” So she started pushing, took over two hours. It was very frustratkng to her. Her second baby she felt the need to push before the doctor recommended it, and the baby was out fast. She now realizes she probably should have waited, labored longer, with the first baby. One negative I can see with the drugs is the mom does loses the ability to know when she feels she needs to push.

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