1. Failure to progress accounts for around 30 percent of cesarean deliveries. It means that labor doesn’t progress according to the usual timetable. For various reasons the cervix does not open enough and/or the baby does not descend. Some cases of failure to progress cannot be avoided, such as a very short cord. Most cases, though, are due to inadequate support for the laboring woman and violation of the basic physiology of labor. Of all the reasons for a cesarean, “failure to progress” is the most under your control. No other system in your body “fails” 25 percent of the time. Why should your “delivery” system? Emotional and physical support for the mother, walking during labor, upright pushing, along with the prudent use of medication and technology will help labor progress by increasing the efficiency of uterine contractions rather than interfering with them.
2. Repeat cesarean, meaning you had one previously, is the most common reason for a surgical birth, and this is under your influence as well.
3. Fetal distress is the third most common situation leading to a cesarean delivery. Fetal heart patterns on the electronic fetal monitor may suggest that baby’s well-being is in jeopardy unless he or she is delivered quickly. A fetal heart rate that is higher or lower than average is a sign that baby may not be getting enough oxygen or is not recovering well from the decreased heart rate that is normal during contractions. While some of the reasons babies receive insufficient oxygen are beyond your influence, choices you make in labor help determine your baby’s well-being.
4. Cephalopelvic disproportion (CPD) is another reason for surgical births. Baby is too big to pass through the pelvic outlet. Laboring and delivering in a more upright position, namely squatting, can enlarge the pelvic outlet, often allowing even a small mommy to deliver a big baby.