Cesarean sections do save lives. Every day mothers and babies are able to meet each other because of necessary medical interventions. For this we should be thankful. I want to briefly touch on an incomplete list of times when cesareans are a blessing
Placenta accreta is the term used to describe the clinical condition where in part of the placenta, or the entire placenta, invades and is inseparable from the uterine wall. When delivery happens the placenta does not detach from the uterine wall and this can lead to massive hemorrhaging. As many as 90% of patients with placenta accreta require blood transfusions, the maternal mortality rate associate with this is reported to be as high as 7%. Tragically the incidents of placenta accreta are increasing, with a reportable tie to increase in cesarean rates.
“The incidence of placenta accreta has increased and seems to parallel the increasing cesarean delivery rate. Researchers have reported the incidence of placenta accreta as 1 in 533 pregnancies for the period of 1982–2002 . This contrasts sharply with previous reports, which ranged from 1 in 4,027 pregnancies in the 1970s, increasing to 1 in 2,510 pregnancies in the 1980s.”
The scar tissue formed from previous cesareans can cause the placenta to grow into the uterine wall, resulting in the accreta. Diagnosing the accreta before delivery is beneficial, as the medical staff can properly prepare for the complications associated with delivery.
Placenta previa occurs when a low lying placenta covers all or part of the cervix. This can cause complications and bleeding before or during delivery. Normally the placenta attatches to the top of the uterus and the umbilical cord flows down from there. You may be restricted from some physical activity of if you have placenta previa. In some cases the placenta will move off of or away from the cervix as pregnancy progresses.
In both of these cases a cesarean can provide a means of safe birth for mother and child. Some other cases where cesarean birth may be indicated include HELLP syndrome,preeclampsia, multiple fetuses where the fetuses share one amniotic sac, and a few more. My knowledge on all of these is by no means exhaustive and this post is not meant to treat or diagnose anyone. These are merely jumping off points for more self education, which I encourage!