“I wish I hadn’t lost my first baby” Seema told us tearfully. “I don’t know how things went so wrong, but one day I was pregnant and the next day I wasn’t.”
Seema Sharma, a 32-year old woman, had been trying to have a baby for 4 years. During this time, she had been pregnant twice and had a miscarriage both times.
“I lost my first baby when I began bleeding at 6 weeks. And my second miscarriage happened when I was 8-weeks pregnant. That time they couldn’t hear my baby’s heartbeat.”
Seema’s situation is not uncommon. Miscarriages occur in approximately 10 percent of all pregnancies and most of these miscarriages happen in the first trimester.
What we don’t always know is why these miscarriages happen. So we asked Dr. Swati Sinha, OB-GYN at Sitaram Bhartia, to weigh in.
“Most often, miscarriages occur due to an error at the time of fertilization that results in an abnormal embryo and a non-viable pregnancy,” she said.
A precious pregnancy
Seema, who is now pregnant for the third time, came to see us in her third trimester. And not surprisingly, this time she’s considering a caesarean delivery.
“This is the first time I’ve come as far as the third trimester so this baby is very precious to me. I don’t want to take any risks with my delivery,” she told us.
Women who have had a previous miscarriage often approach their upcoming delivery with a mix of fear and anxiety. Because they don’t want “anything to happen” to their baby, they want to have a caesarean delivery. What they don’t understand is that a caesarean is a major surgery and like all other surgeries, it carries its own risks for the mother and the baby.
Seema, who also has the added pressure from family and friends to have a caesarean, is struggling with what to do.
According to Dr. Sinha, “There’s no reason to have a caesarean delivery if things are going well. Every baby is precious and your labour will be closely monitored. And we are equipped to promptly do a caesarean if required.”
A caesarean will also impact your ability to breastfeed and bond with your baby.
Seema went into labour spontaneously and had a normal delivery. She was thrilled to have her baby in her arms and begin breastfeeding immediately.
“We like telling our patients about this” says Dr. Sinha. “Seema’s story is a good reminder that women shouldn’t choose caesareans because they’ve had miscarriages in the past.”
This article has been written with editorial inputs from Dr. Swati Sinha, who has decades of experience as an Obstetrician-Gynecologist and has handled high-risk and low-risk pregnancies successfully. She is loved and appreciated by couples not only for her expertise but also for her optimistic and supportive nature.
Dr. Swati Sinha, MBBS, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi (1996); MD (Obstetrics & Gynaecology), Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi (2001); MRCOG Part 1 (October 2010)
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