Obstetrician-gynecologists consider the natural way to resolve pregnancy the best for the child and mother – the adaptation of both to new conditions is faster and more effective. But there are situations when cesarean section is the only right choice and prevents severe birth injuries. In Russia, surgical delivery is carried out only with medical indications, and not at the request of a woman.
Many mothers who have undergone this operation or expect it, are worried about how a cesarean section affects the health of the baby. Are any additional measures and care necessary for the baby’s adaptation to proceed normally?
The influence of the method of birth on the state of the child
During natural childbirth in children, all systems are gradually activated. Passing through the maternal paths makes it possible to adapt to new living conditions, allows you to populate the microflora, open up the lungs.
Due to the operation, this does not happen or is not enough – the children after a cesarean section abruptly fall into an environment unusual for them.
However, a severe natural birth can cause birth injuries – when the brain (and in some cases other internal organs) is affected, sometimes irreversibly.
In the process, cerebral hemorrhages, ruptures of bridge veins, cerebral contraction, fractures of the skull bones and much more are possible, which subsequently leads to increased intracranial pressure, damage to cranial nerves, hydrocephalus of varying severity, and brain atrophy.
These pathologies, in turn, are causes of developmental retardation, paralysis (central, peripheral, cerebral children), mental retardation, hearing loss, vision loss, and many others.
Hard births also negatively affect a woman’s condition. They can lead to pathological discrepancy of the pubic bones, severe ruptures of the cervix, perineum and vagina, extensive bleeding, and pituitary infarction.
All together, this threatens with multiple pathologies that can lead a woman to a deterioration in the quality of life, infertility, and disability.
In disputes between what is best for the baby – conventional delivery or surgery – doctors express their opinion: successful natural births are better than cesarean section, but prompt ones are preferable to heavy spontaneous ones.
Myths about Caesarean-born babies
There are many myths about children who came to this world through surgery. They are based on ideas about methods for performing cesarean section, which was carried out several decades ago. Modern medicine has stepped far forward and can now offer advanced operational techniques that have a minimum of negative consequences.
Children after cesarean section are born weakened, as their internal organs do not have time to mature by the time of the operation. This may be true when applied to emergency situations when the condition of the mother and fetus requires urgent measures.
Ultrasound allows you to determine the degree of full-term baby with great accuracy – for each woman, this period is individual. Unnecessarily, when the fetus still needs ripening, doctors do not perform surgery.
If the condition of the baby and mother allows you to extend the gestation period, obstetrician-gynecologists willingly take this step and the planned cesarean section is carried out closer to the expected date of delivery.
In some cases, if the situation and the qualifications of the doctor allow, they wait for the woman’s natural contractions and promptly deliver them.
Children after cesarean section in the first days are in drug shock, since anesthesia negatively affects the brain.
Currently, in most cases, spinal or epidural anesthesia is used, which allows immobilizing the lower half of the mother’s body (she herself remains conscious). In these cases, the entry of anesthetics into the bloodstream is minimal, and they are eliminated from the mother’s body quickly and do not have time to affect the child.
However, even if general anesthesia was used (in urgent emergency situations), its effect on the baby’s brain is not strong: modern high-quality drugs are used that slightly depress the child’s respiratory and nervous systems for a short time.
Children after cesarean section do not take breasts, “lazy” to suck. Breastfeeding is a process that can be influenced by a variety of factors (time of first feeding and frequency, physiological characteristics of the mother). An important role is played by the child’s early attachment to the chest. The use of epidural and spinal anesthesia allows a woman to remain conscious, immediately after the operation, hug the baby and feed him.
Even if this did not happen in the first minutes after childbirth, feeding can be carried out in intensive care wards, where the mother is after the operation for the first hours: in most hospitals, midwives bring their children there.
A child who, after birth, has satisfied the need for sucking with a mother’s breast rather than a nipple, as a rule, subsequently rarely experiences problems with feeding.
All children after cesarean section receive the mixture for several days, as the mother is forced to take many antibiotics in the postpartum period.
Maternity hospitals use those antibacterial drugs that are compatible with breastfeeding. And advanced technologies for this operation have now reduced the use of drugs to a minimum.
Psychologists say that there is a break in the emotional connection between children born through surgery and their mothers. There is no objective research in the scientific world that would confirm this assumption: these statements are the personal opinion of a certain group of people.
The establishment of emotional contact between mother and child is influenced by many psychosocial factors: care, bodily interaction, subsequent verbal and non-verbal communication, participation in the life of a daughter or son. All this can be given, regardless of the method of delivery.
Consequences for a baby born with surgery
The consequences for children after cesarean section are determined by several factors:
- maternal health and pregnancy features;
- the method of filing anesthesia and its quality;
- the conditions of the operation (planned event or emergency);
- actions of medical staff.
In some cases, the child may have problems with the vessels – due to the pressure drop during extraction. Difficulties with breathing may also begin – due to the fact that the lungs did not have time to open up to the end. As a rule, these pathologies are diagnosed immediately.
Children after cesarean section may suffer due to negative processes occurring in the intestines: severe gas formation, constipation or, conversely, diarrhea. This is due to the fact that the baby’s body did not have time to populate the mother’s microflora.
In this case, it is important to attach the baby to the breast – along with milk, he will be able to fully receive all the necessary bacteria. Also, do not forget that the development of one’s own flora in a child born in any way can be problematic in the first months – it depends on the individual characteristics of the body.
In some cases, girls born with caesarean can suffer from vulvovaginitis in the first months – for the same reason as from intestinal disorders (lack of colonization of microorganisms).
All cases are not irreversible and are corrected with the help of correctly selected treatment.
Indications for Caesarean section
The operation is indicated for women in labor if:
- placenta previa or detachment;
- mechanical obstruction in the birth canal (neoplasm of the uterus or ovaries);
- severe gestosis and eclampsia;
- clinically narrow pelvis or its deformation;
- transverse intrauterine position of the fetus;
- exacerbations of genital herpes,
- critical oligohydramnios, etc.
In some cases, cesarean section is used at the discretion of the doctor for multiple pregnancies, the presence of pelvic presentation of the fetus, multiple entanglement of the umbilical cord, various diseases of the woman (some cardiovascular, endocrinological, neurological, ophthalmic, musculoskeletal, and also hemorrhoids, kidney pathologies).
Often the need for surgery arises already in the process of childbirth – when labor is weakened, fetal hypoxia is detected, impossibility of its passage along the routes, the umbilical cord falls out, etc. In this case, an emergency cesarean section is performed.
To prevent possible problems, it is recommended that the expectant mother, who already knows about the planned operation, discuss the choice of anesthesia with the doctor: it is better to give preference to spinal or epidural anesthesia.
It is also necessary to first find information on the establishment of breastfeeding (if the mother wants to breastfeed), seek the support of a breastfeeding consultant or pediatrician.
The rest of the preparation for childbirth is almost no different from that which is expected with natural resolution.
Feeding a baby after cesarean section
Feeding babies after cesarean section does not experience any restrictions: all drugs used during such childbirth and the recovery period are compatible with breastfeeding.
In some cases, the mother is not able to feed the newborn, if general anesthesia was given, complications appeared during the operation or the woman does not feel well. In this case, the staff of the maternity hospital feed the baby with a mixture.
In those medical institutions where breastfeeding is supported (and now there are more and more of them), this is done through a syringe without a needle, and not through a bottle. This is due to the fact that the baby, having tried the nipple earlier than the breast, may subsequently refuse to suck mother’s milk.
However, do not despair if this still happened: in the first weeks, if you want the baby, you can try to retrain.
If the baby was born prematurely, weakened and forced to stay in the neonatal intensive care unit, employees of the maternity hospital after cesarean section are usually fed with mother’s milk: for this, the woman needs to be expressed regularly.
If nevertheless it was not possible to establish breastfeeding, this is not a reason for frustration, since modern mixtures have a composition that is as close as possible to mom’s milk. The main thing is the warmth and the care that a woman can give to her child.
Is special care necessary for a baby born with surgery?
Nothing special care for children after cesarean section does not differ from care for children born naturally (in the absence of serious pathologies). The umbilical wound heals equally and on time, they receive vaccinations according to a single schedule.
Doctors at regular examinations monitor the developmental characteristics of such children, evaluate their breathing, and cardiovascular activity. If violations are not detected immediately or within a month, then the likelihood that they will subsequently appear is small.
So, operative delivery is an alternative option in the presence of pathologies of the health of the mother or fetus, and sometimes the only one. Children after cesarean section in the first months may experience difficulties that are associated with their intestinal activity, respiration, blood vessels.
However, these problems are rarely detected and can be successfully compensated by a doctor. An important issue is the establishment of breastfeeding – if your mother wants to feed naturally, she should study this issue in advance.