Chances Of Going Into Labor Before Scheduled C Section
What happens if I go into labour before my caesarean? If your caesarean is booked for seven days before your due date, you may go into labour before that, as one in 10 women do . If this happens, call your maternity unit straight away.
It’s not uncommon to have a scheduled c-section (cesarean section) planned well ahead of the baby’s arrival. However, what about going into labor early? What are the chances of it happening, and how can you prepare yourself for such an event?
The first thing you’ll need to decide is whether or not you’re having twins. The likelihood of going into labor early increases with multiples — babies weighing more than 7 pounds (3 kilograms) each. In fact, according to statistics compiled by the American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists, up to 15 percent of singleton mothers will give birth prematurely. But twin moms have a much higher chance at 30 weeks’ gestation; their odds are only 5 percent. So if you don’t know which way the wind is blowing, contact your doctor immediately if contractions begin.
If it turns out your labor begins early, you should be prepared for it. First, discuss the situation with your obstetrician, who may recommend other tests to determine when labor might start. Your health care provider may also suggest a trial of Pitocin to speed things along. You may even want to consider amnio, where a sample of fluid from the placenta is tested for fetal lung maturity. Amniocentesis isn’t necessary for everyone, but some doctors believe it could help predict preterm delivery and/or low-birth weight infants.
As far as timing goes, most experts agree that you shouldn’t wait too long before consulting your physician. While the exact time frame varies depending on the woman, the general rule of thumb is to head to the hospital no later than 42 weeks’ gestation. If you’ve already made plans for a c-section, you’ll probably want to schedule yours sooner. It’s always better to get there early rather than risk waiting until the last minute.
So what does all this mean for you? Well, you now have some idea of why you should consult your doctor earlier rather than later, so you won’t miss any important milestones while pregnant. And once you reach the hospital, make sure you have everything you need to take care of yourself. That includes making arrangements for someone to pick up your kids from school if you’re fortunate enough to work from home, or asking a friend or family member to check in on them occasionally.
We hope these tips help you plan for an unexpected c-section. For more information on pregnancy, visit the next page.
Going into labor early doesn’t necessarily mean giving birth prematurely. A premature delivery occurs when the infant is born less than 37 weeks after conception, whereas a premature labor refers to labor starting before the 39th week of pregnancy. Most healthy expectant parents experience a false labor around 36 weeks, which typically lasts two to three hours. This is called Braxton Hicks contractions, and they usually occur throughout pregnancy without progressing past mild abdominal pain. These “practice” contractions are the reason many women feel like they’re getting close to giving birth months before the big day arrives. Don’t worry; it’s perfectly normal.
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