The common opinion among many health professionals for a long time was "Once a cesarean, always a cesarean." However, many women nowadays are choosing to deliver babies vaginally after having a c-section in a previous pregnancy. But some women still continue to have repeat cesareans, either by choice or because of medical necessity.
Is it Safe?
Typically, there is no limit as to the number of cesareans you can undergo. Having repeat cesareans is much safer than it use to be thanks to new procedures and growing technology in the world of obstetrics. However, certain things will affect how safe repeat cesareans will be. These include the type of incisions made and the status of the scars from your previous cesarean(s). Still, some people question whether or not there should be a limit to the number of c-sections a woman has.
Research on this topic has found that repeat cesareans do not necessarily put the mother at an increased risk of complications. However, it is important to remember that a cesarean is considered to be major surgery and therefore will always carry a certain amount of risk, as well as a longer recovery period than a vaginal birth. For women who have had four or more cesareans, the surgery may be a bit harder to perform, as there is often quite thick adhesions to deal with.
There is also the risk of uterine rupture due to the scar tissue on the uterus from your past procedure. Therefore, you should always notify your practitioner and go to the hospital immediately if you experience unexplained vaginal bleeding or persistent abdominal pain during your pregnancy.
Is It Safe For Baby?
For your baby, though, it has been shown that cesareans do put newborns at an increased risk for respiratory problems. This risk does not seem to be affected by the number of cesareans the mother has had.
There does not appear to be a set limit to the number of cesareans a woman can have. If you've had a c-section before, though, it no longer means that all subsequent pregnancies must be delivered in the same fashion. Talk to your health care provider about your birthing options to see if another cesarean or a vaginal delivery is best for you.