Stillborn risks increased after emergency C-section

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Research reveals an emergency C-section may increase the risk of stillbirth next time.

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Emergency C-section risks stillbirth

Dangers of emergency Caesarean section

Besides all the life-threatening risks and complications that are associated with an uncalled for emergency C-section, scientists have found one more—the likelihood of stillbirth during the next pregnancy.

There are generally three types of C-sections—emergency C-section, those planned by doctors and those opted by mothers, where the last one is commonly referred as “too posh to push”. Overall, the three types of C-sections pose no risk of losing their babies but they take longer to have another child.

RELATED: 5 tips for a safer C-section

The study

According to Daily Mail, a study conducted by the University College Cork revealed emergency Caesarean section operation can damage the blood supply to the womb, and can have harmful risks such as stillbirth.

The researchers took 30 years of records to compare women who gave birth naturally and those who had C-section. The results of the 800,000 mothers revealed that mothers who had C-section had no greater risks of losing their babies as compared to those who gave birth naturally. But those who underwent emergency C-section had a 12 per cent higher chance of losing their babies the next time they gave birth.

Royal College Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Patrick O’Brien said that women should be careful and consider the ‘very slight’ increase in the risk in stillbirth, but should not be overly worried.

However, the emergency C-section may not be the sole cause of the increase risk in stillbirth. There may be underlying problems that caused the pregnancy complication, which could also be the factors that led to the stillbirth.

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There are several reasons why an emergency C-section might take place


Emergency C-section is common and accounts for half of all procedures done each year. Celebrities such as Kate Winslet, Amanda Holden and Kirstie Allsopp have given birth with emergency C-section.

Researchers also reported that women who opted for C-section for non-medical purposes were also more likely to find it harder to get pregnant again, but this is because they tended to be older women.

Many women who underwent emergency C-section have been warned against getting pregnant or may simply be put off by the traumatic experience.

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Why an emergency C-section might be needed

There are several reasons why an unplanned emergency C-section might be needed. Usually, the doctor will perform the surgery when natural birth risks the lives of the mother or unborn child.

These reasons include:

  1. Labour does not progress naturally
  2. Premature labour
  3. Placenta praevia, when the placenta is low lying in the womb and covers part of the womb entrance
  4. Viral infection like genital herpes
  5. Baby is in the breech position (feet first)

Did you have an emergency C-section? If so, tell us about your experience. We’d love to hear. Watch this video of a woman who planned for natural birth but ended up having an emergency C-section