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I accidently got pregnant 5 months after having a c-section; is my uterus healed?
Q: I have a baby who is 5 months old. I delivered her by c-section. I accidentally got pregnant again and am about five weeks along. My concern is whether my uterus has healed after the c-section. Am I putting the fetus or my health in danger?
A: Dear Niki,

From an obstetrician’s view, a short interval between babies requires you to concentrate on eating right to insure your baby gets enough nutrition. Otherwise, there is no danger to your baby because of the closeness of your pregnancies.

In response to your concern about the uterine scar, it should be healed well before the due date of your next delivery. The major concern for women with a previous cesarean section is the risk of the uterine scar breaking open (uterine rupture). This can be a life threatening condition for both mum and baby. Fortunately, it happens infrequently (1% of women undergoing an attempted vaginal delivery after cesarean) and in the great majority of cases, an emergency cesarean section prevents significant complications.

As for the specific risks associated with a short interval, there are several articles addressing your question and they give us conflicting information. Some authors believe there is a slightly higher chance of the uterus tearing open during labor in women with a delivery interval less than 19 months. Other authors believe there is no increased risk in this group. Personally, I favor the latter observation. However, the choice of the type of delivery—attempting a vaginal delivery or repeat cesarean section—is yours to make.

I encourage you to speak with your doctor about your specific circumstances. Good luck,

Dr. B