As time has passed, C-sections have increased in popularity, with 32% of babies delivered in the U.S. via C-section as recently as 2010. However, despite a C-section being a go-to option for difficult pregnancies, birth injuries are still a huge risk when undergoing this procedure. Birth injuries, such as cerebral palsy, are the last thing you want to happen to your newborn, especially if the trauma causing it is preventable. If you’re considering a C-section to induce labor, the Safe Birth Project has some things you should consider to avoid birth injuries.
C-Section Risks and Benefits
A C-section can be just as helpful for the relief it provides as it can be harmful because of the maternal or birth injuries you or your baby could end up suffering due to this invasive procedure. It is a surgical operation during which a medical professional delivers a baby or babies through an incision in your abdomen. The intricacy of a C-section will leave you with plenty to think about.
If you’re having a C-section, it is likely because you have a complicated issue, such as uterine or placental ruptures. It is also recommended for a woman whose baby is in the breech position, a position which can lead to injuries in delivery due to the force applied and the awkward position of the baby’s shoulders and head. Having diabetes or genital herpes increases the risks during delivery, too.
A planned C-section for babies can help you reduce the risk of pain during and after birth, a vaginal injury, heavy bleeding after birth, and the loss of bladder control. It is also recommended if your womb, vagina, bowel, or bladder pushes against your vaginal wall, meaning there’s a pelvic organ prolapse. These injuries can still happen while undergoing a C-section, and the risk of injuries is less prominent than during vaginal birth.
Since there are no guarantees, the risk of birth injuries or injuries of any kind happening stands out more. You must speak with your doctor or midwife about the risks and possible injuries from a C-section beforehand. Your chance of having more babies might decrease as you may experience problems getting pregnant or a stillbirth or miscarriage after this procedure. A C-section can also lead to an infection of the wound or its lining, a danger that can lead to birth injuries. Other issues you should consider with a C-section include:
- Heart attack
- Blood transfusion, due to excessive bleeding
- Blood clots
- Issues with anesthesia injuries
- Low blood pressure
- Placenta previa
For babies, a C-section can lead to skin cuts or breathing problems. Respiratory issues are more common if the babies involved are born before the 39-week mark. It’s also harder to breastfeed babies whenever you’ve had a C-section, especially if you have pain or are battling injuries preventing you from moving.
If you are fit, healthy, and not overweight, your chances of recovery are better than most. The surgery does require that you stay in the hospital longer than usual and may even lead to postnatal depression. The injuries and risks carry similar weight to the benefits.
Can a C-Section Cause a Birth Injury?
A C-section can cause various birth injuries that could lead to developmental defects for babies, regardless of age.
For one, C-section after-effects can trigger fetal laceration. These are cuts, scrapes, and similar injuries occurring during a procedure; injuries that are usually preventable. These injuries can lead to other serious health conditions and birth defects such as:
- Erb’s palsy
- Klumpke’s palsy
- Cervical cord injuries
- Cerebral palsy
- Periventricular leukomalacia (PVL)
Birth injuries can occur when there is a delay during the performance of an emergency C-section. Medical professionals recommend that a C-Section delivery is performed within the first half-hour after the time it is ordered. However, when the complications are severe, doctors might perform the C-section faster. These complications include complete cord compression and placenta abruption. Delaying the procedure can lead to fatal injuries in some cases.
Can a Birth Injury from a C-Section Be Malpractice?
As mentioned some birth injuries sustained during a C-section are preventable, happening due to medical malpractice. Hospital and birthing facilities, by law, are a necessity so babies can be delivered safely. All birthing centers must have or be near to C-section operation facilities, so the procedure can be performed within the standard time frame if it becomes necessary.
Fetal heart monitoring issues can also lead to birth injuries. These injuries occur when a medical facility’s fetal heart monitors aren’t fully functional, or the professionals in charge inaccurately detect fetal heart tracings. Fetal heart monitors are vital because of their ability to signify when babies experience oxygen deprivation. A failure to detect distress increases the odds that your child develops birth injuries like cerebral palsy and other lifelong disabilities.
Contacting a Birth Injury Lawyer
The Safe Birth Project provides you with legal case help when your baby has suffered birth injuries due to medical malpractice during a C-section.
Birth injuries happen because a C-section either was delayed or not performed or was performed improperly, and that is negligence on the part of your medical practitioners. You can get the help you need to argue your case in mediation or in court if it becomes necessary. Your legal team will gather all of the records and statements needed to substantiate your claim. Winning your birth injury lawsuit means gaining the financial compensation you deserve to pay for expenses relating to immediate treatment and ongoing therapy for yourself and for your newborn baby. Your settlement can also cover lost wages and offset other malpractice-induced problems.
Consider all of the information you gather from your research and contact the Safe Birth Project if you decide to pursue a legal case against the team of medical professionals who treated you and delivered your baby.