Low Platelets Blood Count and C-section

Updated on June 25, 2009
M.T. asks from Agawam, MA
9 answers

When I was pregnant with my son, my platelets blood count came back a little low...around 135,000 than when I was tested again at the beginning of my ninth month they pretty much stayed the same. I am pregnant with my second child and my platelets came back again a little low around 135,000. I was tested again last week at the beginning of my ninth month and they dropped down to 111,000. My doctor said that I'll have to be retested again and if they drop even more I might not be able to have a spinal during my c-section. My doctor said if that is the case I'll have to be put to sleep and my husband can't even be in the operating room. I have a few questions...(1) has this happened to anyone; and (2) has anyone had a c-section while they had to be put to asleep and, if so, how was that experience? Thanks!!!

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So What Happened?

I am having a planned c-section because I had to have one with my son and my doctor said I only have a 30% chance of having a vaginal birth. After my sons birth of 20 hours of labor, 2 epidurals and than a spinal and his heartrate dropping in the 20's I don't want to put either of us through it.

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answers from Boston on

hi M.,
Yes, I've had the problem and I've had the c-sec under general. Mine was an emergency situation as no one knew the platelets were falling until it was almost to late.
My counts fell so low (can't recall the # count...) that I bled out of a tiny pin prick for 33.5 minutes.
It was later learned I have something called Von Wilebrandts syndrome.

I woke at the end of the anesthesia fine just sleepy, had no other issues afterward.

Good luck to you!

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answers from Boston on

I am thrilled to see so many other women recommending you avoid the whole issue by having a VBAC. I will join their ranks: Go for the unmedicated VBAC! Take a Hypnobirthing class. This is what I used for my homebirth. I gave birth to a 10lb 7ozs baby with no medicine, in my home, with my family surrounding me, and it was wonderful. I can seriously tell you that it was a nearly pain-free birth, and my family and midwives can attest to that, having watched me.
Explore your options. You don't need to have another c-section if you don't want to.



answers from Boston on

Hi M.,
I did not have a low platelet issue, however I was put to sleep during my first c-section. I was in full labor and tried pushing for 3 hours, however he still would not come out and his heart rate started dropping so they elected to do an emergency c-section. However when they began I could feel everything and it freaked me out. I had only had an epidural, not a spinal because of time and I don't think it was strong enough. They ended up putting me under towards the end so my husband was with me. I didn't really know what happened until I was in the recovery room. I woke up feeling fine. Just had the shakes. The only thing that really bothered me was that I could not see my baby for 3 hours while I was in recovery and they took the baby to the nursery. I was expecting to have my little guy with me the entire time and be put on my chest right away, and so on. My husband stayed with the baby the entire time. And so I was sad that I had missed that entire experience. I understand though that it was their only option given the circumstance. I think knowing ahead of time that it was going to happen would have been a little better if I could be prepared for it. However, overall it was not a bad medical experience.
I wish you luck.


answers from Boston on

You could opt for a vbac or vaginal birth after cesarean. If you had a horizontal cut in your uterus and it healed ok with your only c-section than your chance of a uterine rupture is less than 1% that is the same as a first time mom who has never given birth or had a c-section.

Best of luck to you



answers from Hartford on

Yes, this happened to a friend of mine - her platelets were too low so she ended up having her c/s under general anesthesia.

My first DD was born via c/s while I was under general anesthesia (not due to platelet count, rather an emergency c/s). My husband was not allowed in the room. When they use general anesthesia they work quickly and you shouldn't be under too long so I would suspect your recovery will be not too much different than from a spinal. My case was a bit more complicated as I required additional surgery after the c/s so I was under for longer and my daughter was 35w she went straight to the NICU. Anyway, once you wake up you will probably be drowsy for a bit but should be fine.

Good luck!



answers from Boston on

I have had chronic low platelets my entire life, but they went lower when I was pregnant. At one point they were down to 70,000. My midwife was concerned about letting me deliver at the hospital she worked out of because it was a low level hospital. So, out of desperation I tried to get my count up. I researched possible ways to do this and one thing that came up was taking a chlorophyll supplement. I asked my midwife and she said to give it a try. My count went up by 10,000 and I maintained it at 80,000 until delivery. I delivered my daughter at her hospital without an epidural (which I knew was out of the question because my count is always low) and recovered fine without any excessive bleeding. So, you may want to try this. If you can keep your count up and maintain it you will be able to have the spinal. Most of the super green drinks they sell at health food stores contain Chlorophyll, so you could always go this route and get the extra benefits of the other greens. From what I can gather from your post you have a little boy that was not born so long ago. Sometimes our bodies need a little boost when pregnancies are close together. It takes two years for a women's body to fully recover from pregnancy and birth, and longer for those who breastfeed. So taking the green drink may benefit your body in more ways than one.
Good Luck



answers from Bangor on

You didn't mention why you are electing to have a cesarean birth for your second child. Since it is planned so far in advance, I am assuming that it is not for medical reasons like fetal distress, low amniotic fluid, or some other urgent issue. So, the way to avoid the whole spinal vs. general anesthesia, low-platelet issue is to have a vaginal birth.
If this is not an option for you, I would second the PP that mentioned chlorophyll, either in liquid or table form.
L. :>)



answers from Boston on

Hi M.-
I also had low blood platelets during my pregnancies. I actually had to see an oncologist during my 2nd pregnancy. Had them tested the week before I was scheduled for my section and everything was fine. Went in for the section and they had to hand count my platelets and they were very low, I think around 75,000. I was not aware that I would have to be put under so it was very scary. My husband was not able to be in the room with me and I wasn't able to see my son for 3 hours after he was born. I think if I was aware of all these things before hand it wouldn't have been so bad. When I came out of anesthesia, I was in a lot of pain but then they gave me a morphine drip for the day and that helped a lot and after the first day, the recovery was the same as my first section. Also, after my pregnancy I saw the oncologist again and my platelets were back to normal, she said it was just something that happened during my pregnancies and to expect it to happen again if I were to get pregnant again. Best of luck!!



answers from New London on

This is similar to my situation. With my first, my platelets stayed around 55,000 throughout my pregnancy (having gone into the pregnancy with about 90,000). Basically, I was told that my choice for hypnobirthing naturally was fine since no anesthesiologist would ever touch me with an epidural. That was fine, until my platelets dropped to 28,000 and I ended up with an emergency c-section under general anesthesia while getting a platelet infusion and blood transfusion. I ended up hemorrhaging later anyway and didn't meet my baby until she was 5 hours old. However, I INSISTED that my husband be allowed in (once I was under) as I told them I would not allow my child to be without one of her parents--and since I was "out", he was allowed in and videotaped her first cry for me. (Backus Hospital, Norwich CT)

Second time around, it was likely I would have low platelets again. Therefore, they were checked montly and my new dr. said that he would make sure it would not become an emergency again. If they dropped low and I was 36 weeks, he was just going to repeat c/s and give me a spinal so I could be awake. You can get a spinal with platelets as low as 85,000. It went as planned, I was awake and my platelets never got lower than 110K (high for me).

My opinion--find the right doctor! You CAN have a more pleasant experience.

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