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Do C-sections cause or prevent birth injuries?

On Behalf of | Jan 18, 2024 | Personal Injury

If you’re one of many women in Missouri who are currently pregnant, you hopefully have connected with an experienced obstetrics unit in your area and are regularly attending prenatal visits. Whether you’re in the first, second or final trimester, quality medical care is essential to a healthy and safe pregnancy, labor and delivery. In certain situations, your doctor might schedule a C-section. While the medical industry considers vaginal birth the safest option for most women and infants, there are times when C-sections can help prevent birth injuries.

On the other hand, C-sections present risks for birth injuries as well, since they involve surgery, which always carries inherent risks for injury. An experienced obstetrician (OB) can weigh the options and determine which birthing procedure best fits the needs of a specific mother and child. There are numerous issues that may arise leading up to your due date that would constitute medical reasons for delivering your baby by C-section.

C-sections help prevent birth injuries caused by placenta previa

The placenta is an attachment to the uterine wall and provides your baby with nutrition and oxygen throughout your pregnancy. A condition known as “placenta previa” occurs if your placenta is lying too low in the womb and is covering a portion or all of the cervix. Placenta previa is a potentially life-threatening condition for you and your baby because it can cause hemorrhaging during the pushing stage of labor. If your OB has diagnosed placenta previa late in the pregnancy, he or she will no doubt recommend a C-section to avoid birth injuries.

Infections can pass from mother to infant during vaginal childbirth

If a doctor has diagnosed you with certain infections, such as herpes or HIV, a vaginal birth may not be the safest option for your baby. These and other infections can pass from mother to child in the birth canal. For this reason, the average OB would want to perform a C-section to protect the baby’s health. This is another reason why it’s so important to attend prenatal visits, in case you’ve become pregnant and are not aware that you have an infection that is potentially dangerous to your baby.

Complications may also arise with other health conditions

Infections are not the only health condition that can make a vaginal delivery unsafe for you and your child. Other maternal health conditions, such as gestational diabetes or high blood pressure, may also cause complications that would merit a C-section as a safer birthing option. One of the risks of gestational diabetes is fetal macrosomia, which means an infant is too large to fit through the birth canal during a vaginal delivery.

Your OB might recommend a C-section for various other medically based reasons, such as multiple births of twins, triplets, etc., or because you have been in labor for many hours, and it is not progressing.

Ask questions if your OB recommends a C-section

Because there are inherent risks involved with C-section deliveries, you’ll want to discuss the issue with your OB. You can ask questions, such as what the risks are for a vaginal delivery. If you have not yet reached 39 weeks’ gestation, it is particularly important to understand the risks involved with premature birth.

Doctors can make mistakes. If you’ve had a C-section in a Missouri hospital that resulted in birth injuries (or needed one and your OB didn’t order it), you’re entitled to seek justice in civil court, especially if medical negligence appears to be the cause.