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How Many Kids Can A Woman Have Via C-Section?
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  • Doctors perform a cesarean section surgery only when it's absolutely necessary to save both mom and baby's lives. It's possible to try a vaginal birth after C-section (VBAC) in your subsequent pregnancy if the circumstances are ideal. 

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    But some women can only successfully give birth via C-sections for several reasons. Succeeding pregnancies after a C-section is closely monitored for any complications that may arise. Many moms then ask: how many times can you get pregnant and have repeat C-sections that are still safe for mom and baby?

    The risks of repeat C-section 

    Each repeat C-section is generally more complicated than the previous one. Most doctors don't allow moms who have had two C-sections try for a VBAC because of the risks involved. The Mayo Clinic lists these risks below:

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    Placenta problems

    The placenta is your bab's lifeline in your womb. The more C-sections you have, the more likely you may develop placental issues. These include placenta accreta (the placenta implanting too deeply into the uterine wall) and placenta previa (the placenta partially or completely covering the cervix). 

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    These placental issues increase your risk for pre-term birth and excessive bleeding, leading to the need for blood transfusion or hysterectomy (the removal of the uterus).

    Uterine rupture

    The chances of uterine rupture or the tearing of a past C-section scar or uterine muscles increases with each C-section surgery. This is life-threatening to both the mother or baby.

    Complications related to adhesions

    Adhesions (bands of scar0like tissue) develop during each C-section. These adhesions become thicker and thicker each time a new C-section is performed and can make succeeding C-section more difficult. It also increases the risk of a bladder or bowel injury and excessive bleeding.

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    Incision-related complications

    The likelihood of developing a hernia (when an organ pushes through an opening in the muscle or tissue that holds it in place) increases with the number of abdominal incisions. In some instances, surgical repair might be needed.

    Diastasis recti

    Repeated C-section can also cause diastasis recti, which literally translates to "separation of the abdominals." It's what happens when your belly is sticking out "because the space between your left and right belly muscles has widened." 

    Numbness and pain at the incision site

    Recovery for every woman who had a C-section is different. Many moms report numbness and pain in the incision site even years after they gave birth. (Click here to read C-section recovery stories.)

    Endometriosis in the incision

    Some women who had repreat C-section can develop endometriosis or  thicker uterus lining on the incision area in the uterus.

    How many C-sections can a woman have

    Unfortunately, there is no one correct answer to this. Some women can only have two or three C-sections. At the same time, other mamas go on to have five or six babies delivered via abdominal surgery. 

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    Every woman is different, so doctors can answer this question based on evaluating each woman's health history. But it doesn't mean you'll have lower chances of getting pregnant again. 

    The good news is women who had C-sections are just as likely to conceive again as women who gave birth vaginally. Still, there are some things you can do to minimize your risk for repeated C-section. 

    Follow doctor's orders on C-section recovery.

    Every mom who has just given birth should, regardless of the mode of delivery, take it easy for at least six weeks postpartum. Moms who had C-section also need to strictly follow their doctor's instructions post-surgery to ensure that their incision wound and uterus heal well. Ask your doctor before starting any postpartum exercise

    Space your pregnancies well.

    Many doctors recommend women to wait at least a year before getting pregnant again to ensure that the surgical wounds are fully healed inside and out.  This recommendation may vary depending on your doctor's evaluations.

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    Follow the doctor's advice if you're pregnant again. 

    If you're pregnant again, your doctor will monitor you closely. You may need more tests and ultrasound to ensure that everything is progressing as it should. It should also help your doctor spot any possible issue before it gets worse. 

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