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What factors might lead to a Caesarean-section delivery?

Some of the factors that cause or contribute to a C-section would be slow progression of labor or no progression of labor. There’s a certain speed to labor that is normal. We usually try to adhere to that to keep it safe for the mom and the baby.

What happens in many cases is that the pelvic bones are just not large enough to allow the passage of a certain size baby. If that’s the case, the cervix may open to a certain number, say, to 4 to 5 centimeters, and just stop and stay at that number for two hours.

Usually a first-time mom who is experiencing good, strong labor contractions with no progress for several hours would be a candidate for a C-section. Another case would be if the cervix dilated to 10 centimeters and the mom was pushing for a certain amount of time without the baby appearing, we’d assume that the baby’s just not going to be able to come out through the pelvic outlet. We allow a shorter amount of time for somebody without an epidural.

But there are two big reasons that C-sections happen. One big one would be where the fetal heartbeat would drop suddenly and stay down rather than recovering after a contraction. That would be an emergency and we would have to get the baby out.

The other situation would be if the fetal heart tracing just does not look normal regardless of the resuscitation that we’re doing oxygen and position change or putting some fluid back up inside the uterus. If things are just not looking healthy or safe for the baby or the mother, that would necessitate a C-section.

Few other factors include: Failure to progress with good labour pains; cervix does not dilate; disproportionate size of the pelvis and the baby; big baby and foetal distress.