30 answers

Is Having Three Babies by C-section Safe?

Since I am an only child, I always wanted to have a big family. I was lonely growing up and always told myself that I would have a big family some day. Well, I am almost 35 years old with two wonderful boys and am wondering whether I should try for a third child before it is too late. I know it is important to see if we can financially afford a child, of course, but I was also wondering whether it would be safe to have 3 C-sections.

My first son was two weeks late, and I was induced for 16 hours without going into labor. When they gave me more pitocin, my son's heart rate plummeted, and I needed an emergency C-section to get him out. It turns out that his head was too big and never would have fit through the birth canal. Anyway, he was born fine and never had any complications, although it took quite a long time for me to heal.

With my second son, I really wanted a VBAC. Amazingly, I actually went into labor naturally when my water broke one day before he was due. When we got to the hospital, however, I was told that I tested positive for Strep B and would need 8 hours of antibiotics by IV before giving birth. Although I never went into full-blown labor, whenever I had even a tiny contraction, my son's heart rate would drop each time. The doctor suggested that it would probably be safer to have a C-section to get him out. I conceded and went through the surgery. Everything went as planned except that when my son came out, he was blue and not crying at all. When they brought him to the sink to clean him up, not one sound came out. My mother and husband were in the operating room and almost passed out. After the nurse rubbed him, he still did not make a sound, so she ended up giving him a puff of oxygen. After this, he let out a gurgled cry, and they got all of the mucus out of his lungs. He has been fine ever since, and I healed very quickly this time.

Because of this background, I was wondering whether it would be safe to have another C-section. My husband and mother think that after having two perfect children, it would be silly to want one more, but I still think that three children would complete my family.

Has anyone gone through something similar and if so, how did it go?

2 moms found this helpful

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I had 3 c-section all with in a 4 year period. i have had no lasting sideeffects accept that part of my belly is still numb right above the scare tissue. I had minor complications between my second and third c-section due to scare tissue attaching my uterus to my abdominal wall. but they just monitered me through my last pregnancy and all was fine.

I know several women that have had many c-sections - one woman had 7! I think you just need a supportive doctor because I know it can be done.

I have no personal expereince with this as I had a vaginal birth, however, my mother had 3 children via C-section (she never had a vaginal birth) and ther only long term issue she has had is that the scar tissue has made a lump on her abdomenal muscles and it took her a little long3er than normal to regain muscle tone because of this. She still has the lump (her youngest is 22 years old) but it is not visible nor does it bother her. She was very happy with her ex[ereince and considered having a 4th child (they decided not to because they couldn't afford to raise 4, not because of medical reasons). So that is her experience, for what it is worth.

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S.- I had 3 c-sections - in '71, '76 and '82 -- Iwas perfectly safe--- however my last child has some issues that never qualified as special ed--- but have colored all our lives --- as a retired special ed' teacher I KNOW you understand that dynamic- being a special ed teacher, too.

I was 37 when she was born- and she seemed healthy - the issues have developed; at 27---- I know I will carry the burden of trying to make her life better and more functional all my life- and that as I die my last prayer will be to help her --- She is beautiful, but terribly burdened. My greatest concern for YOU is not your physical safety--- but the consequence of bringing a 3rd child ( life is really set up for two adults, two kids--- truly it is--- and it gets tricky once you''''break'''' that barrier.) into a home when husband/dad has said ''' 2 are just right''' --

I KNOW you'll make a good decision- whatever that is--

Old Mom aka-- J.

I had 3 c-section all with in a 4 year period. i have had no lasting sideeffects accept that part of my belly is still numb right above the scare tissue. I had minor complications between my second and third c-section due to scare tissue attaching my uterus to my abdominal wall. but they just monitered me through my last pregnancy and all was fine.

I'm surprised that only one person has mentioned VBAC as an option. I have heard many stories of successful VBACs after 2 or more C-sections. It sounds like both of your C-sections and the problems they caused were quite possibly the result of unnecessary interventions, and that you might have fared better without these interventions. I would suggest contacting as many midwives as you can and asking them about the possibility of VBAC.

Hi S.-

I've had three c-sections, due to complications with my first delivery, and as far as the operations and healing after wards, everything went fine. My babies did fine, too. My OB-GYN said three c-sections would be fine, and the risks start to go up with the fourth, but I'd talk to your doctor about it if you have any concerns. My main advice would be not to chance a VBAC having two c-sections already in your history. Each time you undergo surgery it weakens your uterus, and labor puts a lot of strain on your body, so I wouldn't chance that if I were you.

As far as your last c-section, it sounds like your doctor made the right move getting your son out quickly. During my first delivery my daughter's heart rate was dropping like that, and I feel that if it wasn't for modern medicine I would've lost her for sure! Thank goodness that so much more is known about our bodies then in the past when so many babies and mommies didn't make it through delivery!

Anyway, adding a third is something to think about. We added our third in November and it's been awesome! -J.

It is fine to have more than 2 c-sections. The issues are scar tissue (which makes it harder for the surgeon and longer to do the section) and sometimes there is a "window" that forms from the previous section. Either may or may not cause a problem and there is really no way to know. You could ask your doctor (if it is the one who did the previous surgery) how much scar tissue was there. Some people form a lot and others don't. It's pretty individual. Also, even women who have never had a section can have thinning or a "window" - it is scary when we see that because we always think what could have happened but it is fairly rare for it to rupture. That is the reason that VBACS are highly discouraged now-a-days (I think you'd be hard pressed to find a provider that would consent to one around Seattle anyhow). So, if you go into labor prior to your sceduled section date, they would most likely just take you to surgery to avoid too many contractions in a uterus that may be compromised.

I myself have had 4 sections - and actally each one was easier to heal from from the previous one. Maybe I was just too busy with my kids to notice though.


I had three children by c-section. My first was late, they induced labor and 18-hours in, her heart rate would decrease when I had a contraction. They did an emergency c-section and discovered that her umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck 4 times! My second was born 1 yr, 2 months later by c-section, which I chose because I was told that contractions could rupture the c-section scar. I had two miscarriages after that and had my third by c-section 4 years later. They are all healthy, I am healthy, but everyone is different. Always speak with your doctor first and take his advice. I am pleased with my third child, he makes our family complete. My older sister also has three children by c-section and another of my friends has 4 by c-section, do what feels right.

Hi S.!
I actually just had this conversation with my provider this week. I am faced with the decision of another section as well or a VBAC. She had explained that if I was only thinking of having one more child... then a section wouldn't be a problem. If you are planning of have more then just one more, she says the pregnancies gets tougher because of the weakened stomach muscles from surgery. It sounds to me like you are planning to have just one more & be done, so I honestly feel you will do great during your 3rd pregnancy & section & yes, a 3rd section is safe. :) Hope that helped!

Hello S.!
I started to respond because I have had 2 C-sections (one for twins and then a single) and also a prior surgery which was essentially the same thing (to remove fibroids). Any abdominal surgery has some risk involved. In my experience, they contributed to a weakened abdominal muscular wall and some nerve damage (not a big deal really but my stomach no longer appears the way it used to). In terms of your experience, it almost sounds like the c-section came just at the right time for your second child. Did your doctor give you any indication about why your son was having problems? It sounds like going into labor was the problem for both and that if you do plan to have any more kids, you might want to just plan on another c-section going into it. Hope this was a bit helpful!

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