When a Cesarean Is the Only Option

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital February 16, 2016

Dr. Daniela Carusi, Director of Surgical Obstetrics

Dr. Daniela Carusi, Director of Surgical Obstetrics

For some women, vaginal birth is just not possible due to the risks to the mother and baby. The most common conditions during pregnancy that require cesarean delivery include placenta previa, placenta accreta, previous major surgery of the uterus, and high-order multiples (three or more babies). While the need for a cesarean initially may be disappointing to an expectant mother, planning for the delivery can make the experience more positive.

In today’s blog post, obstetrician Dr. Daniela Carusi, Director of Surgical Obstetrics at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), offers valuable information and helpful advice for women who are preparing for the birth of a baby by cesarean section (C-section).

Timing is key.

In cases with high risk of bleeding or uterine rupture with contractions, the cesarean is typically scheduled several weeks before the due date. This is to minimize the risk that the mother will go into labor before the scheduled cesarean.

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Pain Management during Childbirth

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital June 10, 2014

Dr. Camann advises women to prepare a birth plan, but to stay open and flexible.

In the following video, Dr. William Camann, Director of Obstetric Anesthesia at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, describes the numerous medical and non-medical options women have for pain management during childbirth.

Non-medical pain relief options include the use of hydrotherapy or immersion in a water tub, birth balls, mental imagery or hypnotic techniques, and the use of a doula or birthing coach. Dr. Camann notes that many of these non-medical pain relief options are also compatible with medical pain relief options, which include patient-controlled administration of epidural anesthesia, drug combinations, and soon-to-be available inhaled nitrous oxide.

In the event a cesarean delivery is required, Dr. Camann also describes how BWH physicians are using an approach called the family-centered cesarean to make cesarean deliveries as natural and family-friendly as possible.

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