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Getting Pregnant after a Cesarean

The question of getting pregnant after a cesarean can bring on a flood of emotions. When is too soon? Can I even get pregnant again? All these fears brew into a potion of anxious excitement.

pregnant after cesarean {Photo by Editor B}

There are many reasons why many desire to get pregnant quickly after a delivery.

  • They may be reaching 40, and want to have more children before the risks start to rise.
  • They want their children close in age.
  • Or, worst of all, perhaps there was a tragedy shortly after birth, causing the baby to tragically pass away.

These reasons all encourage a mother's heart to yearn for another baby.

But when is the right time to move beyond that yearning into actually getting pregnant after a cesarean?

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How Long Should You Wait To Get
Pregnant After a Cesarean?

Despite a longing heart, you need to consider what will be safest for you and the new baby.

Your body has just been subjected to brutal re-arranging. It will need time to return to normalcy before being forced to adjust itself once again.

The general rule for a post c-section pregnancy is to wait 18 to 24 months before conceiving. (This, by the way, is the same suggested time for women who deliver vaginally.)

Before you let that time frame overwhelm you, let me remind you of a few things.

Your body is fragile.

Your body needs that time to get healthy and strong enough for another major disruption, i.e. giving birth.

Cesarean deliveries loose twice as much blood as normal vaginal deliveries. This may cause you to become anemic (have an iron deficiency).

That is not a good physical state to be in if you get pregnant, since iron is an essential mineral in a healthy baby's growth (especially in the first trimester).

Your emotions are fragile.

If you've suffered the loss of an infant, pushing to have another may not allow you the time you need to properly grieve the first.

You will always carry some sadness, but not allowing yourself this time now could really hurt you (and your family) in the long run. If you feel you are emotionally ready to try again, speak to your doctor getting pregnant after a cesarean faster.

But it's still your decision.

If you feel you simply cannot wait the recommended 18-24 months before getting pregnant after a cesarean, talk to your OB-GYN.

Since conceiving and start trying to conceive. This is a personal decision you and your spouse should make with your doctor.

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The Risks of Getting Pregnant
After a Cesarean Too Soon

There are at least two potential risks commonly associated with having multiple pregnancies in a short period of time.

Studies have defined "closely spaced" as anything from getting pregnant 3 months after a C Section to nine months after a C Section.

  • Your baby has a higher risk of being premature. This is linked to the low iron count discussed above.
  • The chance of an uterine rupture is higher if you get pregnant after a cesarean within 6 months.

If you do get pregnant within a year of having a c-section, don't panic.

Many mothers who are pregnant after a cesarean only 4 months previously have healthy pregnancies and healthy babies.

There are thousands of variables in play here: the healing of the first incision, your overall health, skill of the doctor, size of the baby... all contribute new and unique ingredients to the pot.

Trust your doctor to give you good advice on the state of your pregnancy and don't worry. (Worry is bad for baby!)

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Can You Suffer Infertility
After a C-Section?

Fortunately, it is rare for a cesarean section to cause infertility.

In some rare cases, however, an infection can set in after surgery. This infection may cause abnormalities to develop in the uterine lining and adhesions to form around the fallopian tubes and ovaries.

If you are struggling to conceive and have had a c-section before, your troubles are more likely to be linked to something other than your previous cesarean. However, your doctor, or a fertility specialist, will be able run some tests to be sure.

For more pregnancy and fertility tips...

Let me point you to the website of a friend. Find great tips on getting pregnant and fertility issues.

Finally...there's hope!

Getting pregnant after a cesarean is completely plausible, and your post c-section pregnancy can be just as healthy (if not more) as your first. In fact, in some circumstances, it is even possible to have a vaginal birth the second time around!

Despite this excitement, be patient and wait for your physical body to catch up with your wishful heart. Your uterus (and your baby) will thank you for it.

heather sig

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