Cesarean Section in Multiple Pregnancy
A cesarean section (C-section) makes it possible to deliver a fetus through an incision in a woman's abdomen and uterus.
Multiple pregnancies usually require a cesarean delivery. But for twin births, vaginal delivery may be an option.
Reasons to have cesarean delivery for a multiple pregnancy
You may need a cesarean delivery if:
- You have three or more fetuses.
- A fetus is breech or crosswise (transverse). (A first-born breech is delivered by cesarean; a second-born breech after a vaginally delivered first-born can sometimes be delivered vaginally.)
- A fetus weighs less than 2000 g.
- You have locking twins.
- You have twins that are joined by any part of the body (conjoined).
- You have twins that share one amniotic sac (monoamniotic twins), because of the risk that the cords will get tangled.
- There are signs of fetal distress, such as a very rapid or very slow heart rate.
- There is a problem with the placenta.
- Your cervix has not dilated over time despite adequate uterine contractions.
- The uterus is overstretched and cannot contract enough during labor (uterine inertia), making labor long and difficult.
A twin vaginal birth after one previous cesarean (VBAC) is sometimes considered a safe choice. For more information, see the topic Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC).
A cesarean section is a surgical operation, and recovery is longer than after a routine vaginal delivery. You will need extra help while recovering.
For more information on cesarean section, see the topic Cesarean Section.
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2017 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.