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5 Myths and Facts about C-Sections

April is National Cesarean Awareness Month


Dr. Dennis McFadden, Board-Certified OBGYN with Aspirus Health

Around 10,000 babies are welcomed into the world every day in the United States, with each baby having a unique birth and delivery.

While vaginal births are most common, a cesarean birth (commonly referred to as a “c-section”) is sometimes necessary. A c-section is the surgical delivery of a baby through an incision made in the mother's abdomen and uterus.

It is a necessary form of delivery for survival of mother and/or child when delivery or pregnancy complications occur, making vaginal delivery dangerous.

“It’s important to reiterate to mothers that a c-section is in no way a failure,” says Dr. Dennis McFadden, a Board-Certified OB/GYN with Aspirus Health. “Although they can be intimidating, a c-section is a lifesaving technique that can avoid catastrophic events that may otherwise happen through a vaginal delivery,” he explains.

“A baby might be delivered via c-section for many reasons. A few examples could be that the baby is breech, meaning it’s not positioned correctly; the mother develops preeclampsia, a serious blood pressure condition; or the cervical canal is unable to dilate.”

Here are five myths and facts about c-sections:

Myth: C-sections are dangerous.   

Fact: Due to today’s advanced medicine, a C-section is generally a very safe procedure, but like any type of surgery, it does carry a risk of complications. The level of risk will depend on whether the procedure is planned or carried out as an emergency, and the general overall health of the mother.

Myth: A mother cannot have a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC).

Fact: For many years, women who had a previous c-section were encouraged to skip vaginal delivery for subsequent births. Now, a vaginal birth after cesarean (or VBAC) is considered a safe option for many women and their babies. 

Myth: It’s okay to have a lot of C-sections.

Fact: Women who have multiple repeat cesarean deliveries are at increased risk for complications. Although there is no limit or exact number on how many c-sections a women can have, each one increases the risk.

Myth: You can’t breastfeed after a c-section.

Fact: Breastfeeding after a C-section is possible. While you may face challenges, most who wish to breastfeed can successfully do so after their c-section.

Myth: C-section recovery is easy.

Fact: A c-section is a major surgery that requires time to recover. Every patient has a different labor and delivery experience, but in general, it takes four to six weeks to completely heal from a c-section. 

Dr. McFadden sees patients at Aspirus OB/GYN Associates in Wausau. To schedule an appointment, visit



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