The risk of late preterm birth
C-sections may contribute to the growing number of babies who are born "late preterm," between 34 and 36 weeks gestation. While babies born at this time are usually considered healthy, they are more likely to have medical problems than babies born a few weeks later at full term.
A baby's lungs and brain mature late in pregnancy. Compared to a full-term baby, an infant born between 34 and 36 weeks gestation is more likely to have problems with:
- Maintaining his or her temperature
- It can be hard to pinpoint the date your baby was conceived. Being off by just a week or two can result in a premature birth. This may make a difference in your baby's health. Keep this in mind when scheduling a c-section.
Other risks for the baby
Anesthesia: Some babies are affected by the drugs given to the mother for anesthesia during surgery. These medications make the woman numb so she can't feel pain. But they may cause the baby to be inactive or sluggish.
Breathing problems: Even if they are full-term, babies born by c-section are more likely to have breathing problems than are babies who are delivered vaginally.
Pregnant mothers can ease and shorten natural delivery times with a few simple breathing exercises that are NOT from Lamaze or Bradley