April 1st marks the beginning of International Cesarean Awareness Month, a campaign that aims to promote lowering the rate of Cesarean deliveries as recommended by health organizations by offering support, education and advocacy.
One third of all deliveries in the United States are by Cesarean, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Also called a C-section, a Cesarean delivery is performed by removing the baby through surgical incisions in the mother’s abdomen and uterus. Some Cesareans are planned ahead of time, while others are performed after labor is already underway.
Mothers may undergo an emergency C-section in response to conditions such as:
- Prolapsed umbilical cord: the cord precedes the birth of the baby
- Placental abruption: the placenta separates before birth
- Placenta previa: the placenta is covering the cervix
- Fetus is in an atypical position such as breech
- Macrosomic, or unusually large, baby
- Medical conditions in the mother including active herpes, severe hypertension and diabetes
- Fetal distress
Cesarean deliveries have been associated with risks to both the mother and her baby, according to Mayo Clinic. Infants delivered by C-section are more likely to develop breathing problems including transient tachypnea and respiratory distress syndrome.
By undergoing surgery, mothers are at risk for problems such as increased blood loss, blood clots and C-section infection. During future pregnancies, mothers who have undergone a C-section are at an increased risk for placenta problems and uterine rupture – when the uterus tears open along the Cesarean scar line.
Not all Cesarean deliveries are necessary. When the mother and/or baby are injured during a C-section delivery, families are left wondering if the resulting problems could have been prevented.
Contact Anapol Weiss if you suspect medical negligence has harmed you or your child. Our birth injury lawyers have decades of experience investigating difficult deliveries to determine if malpractice is to blame. We can help.