The objective I chose for this STEAM project is “Explain common disorders during pregnancy and their cause.” I wanted to learn more about cesarean sections and why people get these surgeries. We talked a bit about pregnancy but nothing about cesarean sections, also known as c-sections. As I researched c-sections and why they are done, I come across that 32% of Americans have had a cesarean section ever since 2020, which was 2 years ago so I have to keep that in mind as well. A cesarean section is a surgical delivery when a vaginal delivery poses a risk for the mother and/or the baby. A cesarean section procedure is where you are put under regional anesthesia through an epidural or spinal anesthetic in the lower back. Once the mother is able to feel no pain, the doctor cuts above or below the pubic hair line either vertical or horizontal (more commonly horizontal due to vertical being more of a quicker needed delivery if it is an emergency.)
C-sections do come with benefits and a lot of risks. Some benefits are reduced injury to the vagina, reduced risk of loss of bladder control, reduced/ no pain during birth, and reduced risk of pelvic organ prolapse. While the risks are urine and womb infection, bleeding that could lead to transfusion, hysterectomy, blood clots, or even problems with future pregnancies. Some possible risks to the baby could be accidentally cut into or breathing problems. Some known facts are that c-sections take longer to recover from and up to a 4-day stay at the hospital after.
Once I knew more about cesarean sections I wanted to know, “why?” So, I picked the objective of common disorders during pregnancy and their causes and began researching more in-depth. I found many reasons as to why they might have a c-section due to a disorder during the pregnancy, but even more on why they have one in general. C-sections could happen from the baby being at the wrong angle, a placental abruption, labor dystocia, or even placenta previa. That is just to name a very few amounts of reasons why. I chose to research further into placental abruptions and placenta previa.
First of all, what are placenta previa and placental abruptions? Placenta previa is when the placenta covers the opening of the mother’s cervix. Some main risk factors are previous delivery, an age that is older than 35, or even a history of previous surgeries. A few symptoms are bright red vaginal bleeding with no pain mainly after the second half of pregnancy. A severe case of placenta previa may result in a preterm c-section (cesarean section). Placental abruption is where the placenta detaches from the inner wall of the womb. This may happen from trauma or injury to the abdomen, an auto accident, fall, abuse, or a rapid loss of amniotic fluid. These are considered “rare” complications, but these are common complications to happen even though disorders/ complications during pregnancy are rare themselves.
After researching all about these disorders/ complications and more, I realized even more about how much women go through during pregnancy, some women are luckier than others but a lot of complications happen without the mother even doing anything wrong. These complications are all random and thinking about how much pain some of these women go through for their children is amazing. Women’s bodies are capable of so much more than we realize, and having to recover from a surgery where they are cut open to the point of their uterus being compromised to infection is unimaginable.