Can I Choose to Have a C-Section?

Can I choose to have a c-section? You are nearing the end of your pregnancy and getting antsy, but hang on, there are times can and can't choose a c-section.

Can I choose to have a c-section?  You are nearing the end of your pregnancy and getting antsy.  The nesting phase has come and gone, the nursery and everything in your house is prepared and cleaner than ever before and you are just ready to have your baby.  But you still have to wait.  This might be the first lesson in parenthood before we even become parents, learning to be patient.  However, there are times when you can choose to have a c-section, here are some of those times.

Related: How to Recover from a C-Section

Can I choose to have a c-section?

Previous c-section: If you had a c-section with another pregnancy, you can elect to deliver your baby the same way.  I tried to have my first child naturally (by ‘natural’ I don’t mean sans medication, I tried but caved).  After laboring for more than 15 hours and pushing for a few more, she wasn’t moving down the birth canal any further and I was sent to have an emergency c-section.  After being awake for more than 24 hours and all that laboring, I was exhausted and didn’t think about it much, I was just happy she was coming out!

Schedule me!: Because my daughter was a c-section, when I got pregnant with my son, I was asked if I wanted to have a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean).  My immediate answer was no, schedule me into the OR!  I knew what I had gone through before, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to deliver him vaginally (thankfully so, he was almost 10 pounds!).  Did I do this for ease and peace of mind?  Heck yes!  I just knew he wasn’t going to come through the birth canal and I wanted to save both of us any unnecessary stress during birth.  

High-risk reasons: A friend of mine was pregnant at the same time as me but ahead by 4 months.  Her baby was breech and not turning, despite efforts.  She was also high-risk due to her continuously high blood pressure.  She scheduled a c-section due to the combination of the two, but it wasn’t something she asked to do, it was more of a suggestion from the doc.  It was safer this way for both mom and baby.

No medical reason? During my numerous hours of laboring with my daughter, I told the doc to take me down for a c-section, because I knew that was how it was going to end up.  She said at that point there was no medical reason yet, so no, she couldn’t do that.  Well, she should have listened to my Mother’s Intuition, because a couple hours later we were in the OR.  My point however, is that medical professionals won’t do anything invasive that is not necessary, even if you beg and plead (as I pretty much did).  I was contracting and pushing and she wasn’t moving.  This might be the only situation that you are not given what you want as a pregnant woman.

I just want him out!: I know that feeling all too well.  But let’s think about this for a moment.  You will not be pregnant forever (I know it feels like it, but you won’t I promise you that).  You have successfully carried your mini for the majority of the last year, and you don’t have that much further to go.  If you chose to find out the gender of your tiny human, what sort of surprises are left in store before you become a mom?  Being able to experience contractions that come on naturally, or your water breaking in the middle of the night (or the grocery store) is something I never got to experience and wish I had.  If your pregnancy has been a healthy one, let him come in his own time, let him choose his birthday, not you.

I know it is tough (trust me, I cried because I wanted my daughter out so badly, she was late).  The birthing process won’t last forever and a day (even though it feels like it might never end).  In the end, you have a sweet little precious face to adore.  So to answer the question ‘Can I choose to have a c-section?’ the answer is no, you can not (unless you have a legit medical reason for one, of course).

What has been your experience in discussing this with your medical team?  Share your experiences with us below in the comment section!

13 thoughts on “Can I Choose to Have a C-Section?”

  1. Elizabeth Matthiesen

    My mother had a C section for the birth of my sister and me – we both were 7lbs and she’d been hospitalised for the last 3 mths. Her scar went from top to bottom, not like the little ones you get today. I was lucky I had 7 children and all were natural births. One of my daughters had to have an emergency C section for her first but had a natural birth with her second. Another daughter was in the delivery room and the Drs decided she needed a section as nothing was moving. It got delayed due to emergencies time and again and in the end my grandson arrived without the C section. :-)

  2. My Son was an emergency C section after 24 hours of hard labor. When i got pregnant for my Daughter my Doctor and i decided to do another C section because of the difficulty i had with my Son. I was happy because i did not want to go threw the labor again.

  3. It is scary the number of women who choose to have a cesarean for convenience. They really should allow their baby to be born on their own time, unless they meet the other criteria you mentioned.

  4. Robin Rue (@massholemommy)

    Of course you can – it’s up to the mom and doctor. Most celebs have c-sections and don’t need them.

  5. I don’t understand how a medical professional couldn’t see how difficult your first pregnancy was to not advise a c-section initially. Probably something to do with livability.

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