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Giving birth is a beautiful, albeit harrowing experience for all women. As much as you might want to have a natural delivery, the potential for pain and other complications might drive you towards having a Caesarean section instead. However, as the C-section is a major surgical procedure, it comes with its own set of risks and dangers that you will need to consider the appropriate time gap required after a C-section to conceive again safely. This article will help you understand the complications of C-sections that might influence further pregnancies, and how to deal with them.
What Is C Section or Caesarean?
A cesarean section is an invasive surgery technique employed to remove the baby from the abdominal region rather than from the vagina. In this procedure, the surgeon will make an incision to your stomach. Once the uterus is visible, a small cut is made, and the baby is pulled out. Due to the location of the incision, it is also known as a bikini cut. Just like any serious operation, C-sections can lead to internal bleeding, pain and scars. You might even feel fatigued, weak, and have fever post the surgery.
Ideal Time Gap Between Pregnancies
Women often ask ‘how long after C section can you get pregnant’? Conceiving after C section requires an ample amount of time, especially if you plan to give birth vaginally. This is known as Vaginal Birth After C-section or VBAC. Normally your doctor will recommend waiting from a year to three years after a Caesarean operation before getting pregnant again, with the average wait time being eighteen months. The recommended time gap might be longer if there were complications during the previous pregnancy, labour or delivery. This period is essential for you to heal from any tears, bleeding or injuries you might have obtained during your C-section. The more you wait, the better the chances of having a healthy second pregnancy. Even if you have no intentions of having a VBAC, it is crucial to allow your body to recover completely before planning for the second pregnancy after C section.
Why Is a Time Gap Required?
As explained earlier, an ample time gap is essential to allow your body to recover fully before having your second child after Caesarean section. Some aspects of this recovery include:
Body Healing Process:
Your body might take a significant amount of time to heal completely from a Caesarean section. A major complication is the considerable loss of blood via surgery when compared to natural birth. This substantial bleeding might cause anaemia, which can cause impact both you and your future deliveries.
Avoid Health Complications:
In addition to anaemia, multiple health problems such as uterine and placental tearing, premature delivery and low birth weight babies are commonly observed in women who conceive immediately after a C-section.
Waiting to have your next child will give you enough time to prepare properly. Conduct your research; meet with doctors, read books on pregnancy, anything you need to stay completely aware. Take care of yourself both mentally and physically.
Avoid Depression and Weakness:
Periods of depression and weakness are known to follow C-section deliveries which will affect your next pregnancy if you decide to conceive immediately after.
Risks Associated With Getting Pregnant After C Section
Studies have shown that getting pregnant with less than a twelve-month waiting period can increase certain risks:
Having a VBAC before the stipulated time gap can put you at risk for a ruptured uterus. This is because the uterus requires a considerable amount of time to heal from the C-section.
This condition is caused by the placenta tearing off from the uterine wall, causing severe internal bleeding.
Women who have a VBAC within eight months of cesarean surgery tend to go into premature labour around the 37th week of pregnancy.
This condition involves the placenta sticking to the lower uterine wall, blocking the cervix and hindering labour
What if You Get Pregnant Soon After C Section?
Getting pregnant before the appropriate waiting period is not a great cause for concern. Most women have survived having second pregnancies by following a set of rules that help them avoid the risks. Also, women over thirty might have to get pregnant even sooner as fertility levels begin to taper off around this age, making it harder to conceive. Ensure you consult a doctor before you make any decision.
How to Increase Chances of Pregnancy
There are many reasons for wanting to get pregnant soon after C section. However, check the status of your health with your doctor, as you might need nutritional and hormonal support to improve your chances of conceiving. Here are some home care tips that will help in achieving a successful second pregnancy.
Increase your vitamin intake, as C-sections tend to drain the nutrients out of your blood. Taking vitamin and mineral supplements, such as folic acid, vitamin B-complex, calcium and iron, should help you get back on track again.
Analyse Your Cycle:
Your menstrual cycle will take a while to return to its regular schedule after your pregnancy. This happens due to the flux of pregnancy hormones swirling around in your bloodstream. If you want to get pregnant as soon as possible, make sure you monitor your cycle very carefully to know the exact period of ovulation.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle will keep you in the best shape for enduring a pregnancy right after a C-section. Eliminate your alcohol and tobacco consumption, stick to a balanced diet, and reduce your stress levels through meditation and positive thinking.
Relax After Sex:
Conception does not depend on the positions taken during sex, but there is a higher chance of conception if you take a breather after sex. Remain on your back for around half an hour, giving ample time for the sperm to enter the uterus.
Can You Have Vaginal Birth After C Section?
Many women used to have multiple Caesarean sections as they were considered the safest alternatives; however, these days women are more inclined to having a VBAC as they are just as safe. Also, natural birth helps you heal much faster than a C-section. There are several aspects to be considered before you decide to opt for vaginal birth:
- Medical history and previous complications
- Possibility of uterine rupture
- Reason behind the initial Caesarean section
- Type of cut in the abdomen and uterine wall
- Rate at which wounds heal
Things To Remember
Pregnancy can be a very difficult time. Here are some tips to help you stay healthy throughout your nine months:
- Remain stress-free.
- Consume enough nutrients, especially vitamins and minerals.
- Reduce your workloads such as doing chores or heavy lifting.
- Don’t forget your medical appointments, especially in the third trimester.
All of this might terrify you, but the risks are quite negligible. If you are concerned about the potential complications of having multiple children, try to avoid having a Caesarean section in the first place. The main thing to be sure about is if you are ready to have another child.
Also Read: What to Expect During Second Pregnancy