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Scoliosis and birth

curvykateccurvykate Posts: 2
edited 03/06/2015 - 6:03 AM in Scoliosis

I am 35 years old and in 2001 I had spinal fusion of my lumbar spine to correct scoliosis. I am currently 26 weeks pregnant but I am very scared about the birth. I have heard so many horror stories about the complications involved when trying to give birth naturally, additionally my spinal surgeon thinks I should have a c-section but my obstetrician does not. For me, there seem to be too many variables that could effect a natural birth and necessitate an emergency c-section and given that I cannot have an epidural because of my spinal hardware, to my mind it seems better to have a planned c-section. Don't get me wrong, i know that c-sections are not without risk and are not the easy way out but I am thinking of the least risk to me, my baby and the future health of my spine and pelvis. The hospital I am under do not support elective c-sections and my obstetrician seems to have had his nose put out of joint as when the spinal surgeon advised that because of my spine, a natural birth would not be in my best interests, the obstetrician said ' I wouldn't tell him how to fuse a spine so I don't expect him to tell me how to deliver a baby'. What can I do? I really don't think the obstetrician is acting in my best interests, he refused to give me a c-section before even looking at my notes.

If there is anybody that can offer any advice I would really appreciate it as I am scared out of my mind at the moment.


  • LizLiz Posts: 9,697
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    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
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  • One of my close childhood friends had a fusion for scoliosis and gave birth to two healthy children naturally. So it's entirely possible. Just make sure you talk about your concerns with your OB and make sure you have a contingency plan in place if you need one for the birth. C-sections aren't the only way to go and as long as you have a caring and competent physician, he/she should be able to guide you. Ask at your Ob offoce if they have any experience delivering a baby from a scoliotic mother. You may be surprised
    2015: Thoracic protrusions C7-T1, T3-4, T6-8
    Dec'13: 360FusionL4-S1 w/bone graft
    2013: 3x2-level disc injections: 12mo surgery postponement
    Dec'12: DiscogramL4-S1
    Sep/Oct'12: Bi-lateral Rhizo AblationsL4- S1
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  • Thanks Sarah, I've already been down that route and Im aware that it is possible to have a natural birth when you have scoliosis and I know that c-sections are not without risk. Having done my research and taking into account my future health and wellbeing I feel that the best option for me is a c-section. I would like to be fully mobile in the future so that I can enjoy my child and partake in activities with him over being able to say I managed a natural birth. I am thinking of the bigger picture, after all, the birth is only a tiny part of having children. I know the history of my health and I know what I hope for the future of my health but I don't think the obstetrician is taking any of that into consideration, therefore I don't think he is looking after my best interests. I know its possible to have a natural birth with scoliosis, but just because its possible, doesn't mean its always best for the individual.
  • adlonaadlon Posts: 2
    edited 03/28/2015 - 10:09 PM
    Your obstetrician doesn't sound very supportive. Ditch him and go to someone who takes a more balanced view of the situation and respects both your concerns and those of your spinal specialist - giving you the space to make a decision without undue pressure and disrespectful bullish comments. Somehow when it comes to pregnancy it's like everybody else owns your body and often suggest that you have no right to make the choices. I had that a lot during my pregnancy - but mainly through midwives. I fortunately had a very, very supportive obstetrician that totally gave me the choice - no quibbles. He also sent me to the head anethetist who also gave her opinion - and like your spinal surgeon - she suggested to go C-Section to avoid any problems should I end up in emergency section. On the day itself the obstetrician on duty could not administer the epidural (he couldn't find my spine 'cause I haven't had it corrected). He took so long that they had to call in the big guns - the Head - who was fortunately on duty - and sure enough got it right. C-sections are not easy, granted. The recovery is excruciating and takes months realistically. That said I don't think any childbirth is easy ..... so there is no easy option really. For me, C-section was right. Whilst the recovery was hard, I was thankful that my births (I have two kids and two C-sections) became about the births and not a matter about my spine. The most important thing about all of this is that you need to feel completely comfortable that you are making the decision about your body and your birth - not someone else forcing you to take his/her view. Believe me, there will be plenty of other opportunities to receive people's critical opinions of you when the baby comes - breast feeding vs bottle, baby curfew times, when you wean, when you choose to return to work, which school you choose ..... all of this is naturally everybody's else's business!

    PS - I'm in South East London so if you're anywhere nearby I can give you the name of my obstetrician. He's great.

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    Spine-health moderator
  • I have extreme scoliosis and I had surgery in 2004 when I was 13 years old.- fusing my upper and lower spine to a titanium rod.

    9 months ago I gave birth naturally to a healthy baby girl.
    I didn't have any complications with my hips or spine during pregnancy- my best advice would be getting a second opinion.

    Good luck!
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  • SarahLindeauSarahLindeau Posts: 766
    edited 03/29/2015 - 9:16 AM
    So great to hear this. Congratulations on your baby! Way to go!!
    2015: Thoracic protrusions C7-T1, T3-4, T6-8
    Dec'13: 360FusionL4-S1 w/bone graft
    2013: 3x2-level disc injections: 12mo surgery postponement
    Dec'12: DiscogramL4-S1
    Sep/Oct'12: Bi-lateral Rhizo AblationsL4- S1
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