Is It Necessary?
Fear #1: I'll have an unnecessary c-section.
Although cesarean births are quite common (about 1 in 4), the decision to perform one is never taken lightly. "If there's any question, the doctor may even bring in another physician and obtain a second opinion beforehand," explains Joan Kent, MD, a New York City ob-gyn.
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), there are many reasons why a cesarean birth may be necessary: a large baby; a multiple pregnancy; failure of labor to progress (one third of c-sections happen for this reason); fetal distress; and medical conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, or placenta previa (in which the placenta covers all or part of the cervix).
"Often several of these factors can occur simultaneously, making a cesarean the safest method of delivery," adds Bruce Flamm, MD, clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of California at Irvine. "It's important for patients to remember that the doctor's goal is always a healthy mom and a healthy baby."