Unplanned Caesarean Birth

Published by wintergreen on

A lot of birthing women end up with an unplanned Caesarean delivery. Some of those are truly life and death emergency cesareans while others are done due to delay of labor, failure to progress, CPD (baby too big), tired birthing woman or some indication the baby is feeling stressed by a long labor. Often coupled with this unplanned Caesarean is a sense of failure in a woman’s mind … ‘I wasn’t able to birth, what’s the matter with me?’ Nonsense.

One hundred percent of pregnant women will give birth one way or another. Every woman is birthing their baby. It’s the one way or another that gets women confused. Birthing Better families want you to not go down that path. You are birthing your baby! We want you to have the most empowered and positive birth you can have … and the pathway to these two strong emotions (empowered and positive) is directly your level of being skilled.

Caesareans have changed

Until the past few generations all pregnant women labored and had a vaginal birth whether the outcome was good or not and whether the woman coped well with the natural pain associated with contraction pains or freaked out. When the first surgical Caesareans were performed in our modern maternity systems they were really major abdominal surgery and only done under the most extreme childbirth situations. They had what is called a ‘Classical Cesarian’.

Women who had these ‘classical’ c-sections felt incredibly disconnected from their baby’s birth because they were knocked out by a general anesthetics and were left with an incredibly ugly body scar. Women wanted a different experience.

By the end of the 1970s obstetricians had figured out what is now known as ‘low-lying’ c/s incisions or ‘bikini cuts’. Instead of the uterine muscles cut up and down, the lower muscle fibers were separated. This shift in surgery totally changed the emergency or unplanned Cesarean from everyone’s viewpoint.

  • The surgery was less dangerous to the mother and baby.
  • Women could wear bikinis and the scar was often hidden by pubic hair.
  • Also epidurals became the norm instead of being unconscious.
  • This also meant women were awake during the surgery and could participate in the birth of their baby.

All of these things were a win-win for mothers, babies and the medical profession. However, the ease of doing these new cesarians became easier and safer to do. This has led to the huge increase in unplanned or emergency c-sections.

Get yourself and your baby through labor safely

Rarely does an emergency or unplanned cesarean occur when the baby is in the birth canal. The vast majority occur when the woman is in labor, not when she is pushing. More often forceps or ventouse vacuum extraction are used once the cervix is dilated, the baby is in the birth canal but there is a delay of the delivery. This means that you want to get through the labour part of birth.

  • You want to manage and cope with the natural occurring pain of labor contractions. If you don’t handle the contractions well your obstetrician or midwife do not want you to suffer in childbirth so you will be offered or encouraged to use pain relief.
  • If the dilation of your cervix doesn’t happen in a reasonable amount of time you are more likely to have more medical care such as an augmentation of labor as well as pain relief. This is the Cascade of Interventions.
  • If your baby’s vital signs begin to look poorly then your obstetrician wants your baby to be safe and your labor and 2nd stage to move along or they want you to have a caesarean delivery.

With the increase in c/s births all of them cannot be necessary. 30% of births are now by Cesarean. It’s hard to imagine that 1/3 of all mothers and babies would be dead or injured without one. So there are a whole bunch of unnecessary and unplanned c-sections rather than unplanned, emergency caesareans. The most common cause of unplanned Cesareans is a failure to progress and women not coping. Both of these are causes that have led to the increase in surgical deliveries is directly related to the lack of birth and birth-coaching skills. There is just no societal expectation that expectant families become skilled to birth their baby.

Why you should consider birth skills

Birthing Better skills can help you easily prepare your body to give birth as well as birth and birth-coaching skills that will help you manage and cope with labor pains. In other words, with skills you are less likely to have an unplanned Caesarean that is not directly related to life and death of you or your baby. 

But Birthing Better families went one step further. They developed skills to continue to use even if you end up having an unplanned c-section. That’s important. In other words, if you can stop having a surgical birth for failure to progress or not coping that’s good but really it doesn’t matter how a baby’s born. What matters is that you feel empowered and positive. Your birth and birth-coaching skills will just transform your life and birth experience.


However if you end up with an unplanned/emergency c-section then still use your birth and birth-coaching skills. It’s that simple. We can discuss all day how to prevent the 30% Caesarean rate but at the end of the day this is your baby’s birth. Take the advise of many thousand Birthing Better families and learn skills for these reasons:

  • You’ll have plenty of time while your birthing partner is being prepped for surgery therefore …
  • You have to fill your time doing something rather than sitting around waiting. This will keep both of you connected and working together as a family. Also …
  • You’ll have plenty of time during surgery to use your skills … fill your time, stay connected to your baby and welcome your baby into the world as skilled parents. And …
  • You’ll have plenty of time during recovery to use your skills to help your partner recover from major abdominal surgery and the discomforts that come along with that.

Having an unplanned or emergency Caesarean is still your baby’s birth. Birthing Better families honestly believe that you deserve to have the very best and most positive birth experience you can. They believe you can definitely achieve an incredibly empowered birth no matter how your baby is born when you use your Birthing Better skills.