23 December 2021

7 Possible Reasons for Getting C-Section

When you’re pregnant, one of the major decisions you’ll have to make is the delivery of your baby. Will you have a natural birth or a C-section? Although mothers typically choose a natural birth, there are several reasons to select C-section. 

Prolonged labour

Also known as stalled labour, this has been the cause of almost one-third of caesarian births. Prolonged labour usually happens when the expectant mother is in labour for over 20 hours. In addition, if they’ve had previous births, prolonged labour can be determined after the 14-hour mark. 

Generally, this occurs when the baby is too large to pass through the birth canal, the mother is carrying multiples, or the cervical lining is thinning slowly. In such cases, caesarean birth is crucial to avoid further complications.

Fetal distress

If the baby is not getting enough oxygen through the placenta, it may experience fetal distress. Symptoms include a sudden decrease in fetal heart rate, tachycardia, or bradycardia. When this happens, a doctor may call for an immediate C-section. If it’s left untreated, the baby can end up breathing amniotic fluid, leading to respiratory failure after birth. 

Birth defects

In order to minimise complications during birth, the doctor may opt for a C-section if they find certain birth defects on the baby.

On your monthly visits to the recommended gynae in Singapore, the well-being of your baby will be monitored through ultrasounds and other screenings. As the baby develops, the signs of deficiency will appear gradually. If doctors discover defects such as congenital heart disease or excess brain fluid, they may advise getting a C-section to keep you and the baby safe. 

Abnormal positioning of the baby

To undergo a successful vaginal birth, the baby should be positioned a certain way with its head positioned by the birth canal. 

However, there are cases where babies are positioned differently. For example, if their backside or feet are facing the birth canal, it’s known as a breech delivery. On the other hand, if their shoulders or sides are positioned towards the channel, it’s called a transverse delivery. In both cases, pushing for a vaginal birth is not recommended as it may cause pain and harm to the baby. Instead, the safest option is a caesarean birth. 

Cord prolapse

You may experience a cord prolapse during the delivery if your umbilical cord drops outside of the vagina before the baby reaches the birth canal. In such an event, the cord will lodge itself between your pelvic bones and the baby’s body, resulting in a low blood supply for your baby. As a result, your baby will experience a loss of oxygen and will therefore require an emergency C-section delivery.

Placenta issues

There are two main types of placenta issues: placenta previa and placental abruption. On the one hand, placenta previa occurs when the placenta covers the cervix either partially or entirely, effectively covering the birth canal. On the other hand, placental abruption occurs when the placenta is separated from the uterus. This can lead to abdominal pain, bleeding, and low oxygen supply, especially during the last trimester.

According to studies, about 1 in every 200 pregnant women will experience placenta previa, and about 1 in 100 will experience placental abruption. Although relatively rare, expectant mothers with placenta issues should undergo immediate C-sections to reduce pain, discomfort, and other complications.

Chronic health disorder

Opting for a vaginal birth when you have high blood pressure, heart disease, or gestational diabetes can be dangerous to your health. As such, gynae in Singapore strongly encourages you to choose caesarean birth.

Likewise, doctors will suggest a C-section if you have genital herpes, HIV, or other infections. Doing so will prevent the disease from being transferred to your baby. 

While these are medical instances where a C-section is necessary, you may also have personal reasons for choosing this delivery method.


Mothers will usually lean towards an elective C-section to reduce the anxiety of labour and have more control over the birth. However, it is not a common practice. Research shows that only about 3.7% of women will pursue this approach

Regardless of the delivery method you choose, be sure to communicate your wishes with your gynaecologist so he can plan the best pregnancy care in time for your delivery.