What is the treatment?
Delivery marks the end of pregnancy for a woman who gives birth to a baby. She can deliver her child either at home under the guidance of a midwife or at a hospital. There are two types of delivery- normal and caesarean (C- section) delivery.
A normal or vaginal delivery is the process where the baby comes out through the vagina, also known as the birth canal. Psychologically, it is a more positive experience for the mother. It comes with a shorter recovery time when compared to a caesarean delivery. However, it can also become stressful as you cannot be sure of the time that will be required for the completion of the process. It can be short or a very long process, and varies with every individual.
A C- section delivery is a surgical method where the baby is delivered through incisions made in the abdomen and uterus of the mother. It can be planned beforehand if you are not ready to go for a normal delivery or develop any complications in the course of your pregnancy. There are various reasons why one opts for a C-section delivery:
- If it is observed that the cervix is unable to open properly even if you experience strong contractions
- The head of the baby has difficulty in passing through the birth canal
- Changes in the heart beat of the baby or inadequate oxygen supply
- Abnormal position of the baby
- Any obstruction in the birth canal
- Medical problems like high blood pressure or heart problems
C-section is often considered to be a relatively safer and simpler method, but there are chances of higher risks and complications than a normal delivery.
How is the treatment done?
A normal vaginal delivery will comprise of the following stages:
- The first stage is where you will experience frequent contractions, which help in dilating the cervix. It could sometimes cause pain in the back or the abdomen. These contractions will come and go. You may get admitted at this time and wait for the cervix to fully open.
- The second stage is when your cervix is opened completely. Your doctor will give you the signal to push at this stage. The force of your pushes and the contractions propel the baby through the birth canal. As the baby comes out, the doctor suctions blood, mucus and amniotic fluid from his/her mouth. The umbilical cord is then cut.
- The third stage involves the delivery of the placenta, the organ responsible for nourishing the baby inside your womb
A caesarean delivery involves the following steps:
- Firstly, the consent form needs to be signed. The doctors will analyze your condition and the anesthesiologist will decide on the type of anesthesia that can be used on you.
- Your pulse, heart and blood pressure will be monitored
- A catheter is inserted in order to keep the bladder empty, after which the anesthesia is administered into your veins
- The abdomen is cleaned with the help of an antiseptic. In some cases, the patient has to wear the oxygen mask to ensure adequate flow of oxygen to the baby.
- The surgeon makes an incision through the skin, into your abdomen’s wall. After that, a three or four inch incision is made in the wall of your uterus. It could be a horizontal or a vertical incision. The baby is then removed from the womb through the incision. Once the umbilical cord is cut and the placenta removed, the incisions will be closed.
Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)
During pregnancy, you will realize the time for delivery has come if you experience any of the following conditions:
- If the head of the baby comes down to the pelvis, pressing your bladder and you will feel that you need to urinate frequently. The belly looks lowered and breathing becomes easier for you. This can occur a few hours before the onset of labor.
- A brownish discharge from the cervix
- Loose stools occurring frequently
- Irregular contractions that occur frequently in an interval of 10 minutes or less
Who is not eligible for the treatment?
A woman cannot get pregnant, and hence not opt for delivery in the following conditions:
- Amenorrhea, wherein a woman does not have her regular menstrual cycles
- After menopause
- If the fallopian tubes are damaged or blocked
- Anovulation, the condition wherein the ovaries do not release any egg
- Abnormality in the cervix or the uterus
- Other medical conditions that may cause infertility
Are there any side effects?
The side effects of delivery that may arise could be the following:
- Infection in the uterus or around the site of incision
- Heavy loss of blood; in rare cases one may need a transfusion
- Nausea, severe headache or vomiting, which is often due the anaesthesia that is administered during the surgery
- Endometriosis, the condition where the membrane lining your uterus gets inflamed and infected
- Blood clot in the veins of the legs or the pelvic organs
- Bowel problems; it could be constipation or ileus (a condition where the intestine stops from functioning normally, leading to a blockage and build-up of food)
- In some cases, the surgery can cause injury to some other organ like the bladder
What are the post-treatment guidelines?
The post treatment guidelines after a delivery for the mother would be:
- After the surgery, you must try getting up and walk. The movement will help in speeding up your recovery as well as prevent blood clots and constipation.
- The incision made will be monitored for detecting any infection signs
- Take adequate rest. Try to keep everything within your reach so that you do not overwork yourself.
- Do not try to squat and lift up anything. It is better not to lift anything that would be heavier than the baby.
- While you are breast-feeding your infant, wear a pregnancy belt or use pillows for additional support
- Ensure that you drink a lot of water and plenty of fluids. It helps in replacing all the fluid you lost during the delivery and breast feeding.
- Take proper medication as prescribed by your doctor
- Avoid sex for at least four to six weeks
How long does it take to recover?
It takes time, special care and attention to recover from a delivery, which is considered to be a major process. After the operation, a woman needs to stay 3 days in the hospital, if there are no major complications. The full recovery takes about 4 to 6 weeks.
What is the price of the treatment in India?
In India, the cost of delivery, whether normal or C-section, would range from Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 2,00,000 depending on the city and the hospital that you go to.
Are the results of the treatment permanent?
The results of a normal or a C-section delivery are permanent.
What are the alternatives to the treatment?
There are no alternatives to delivery.