Cesarean section is a surgical procedure that can prevent birth injury to the child. It is indicated for many types of infant distress or health conditions of the mother.
Cesarean Section for Labor Distress
Most of the reasons why Cesarean sections are performed relate to a difficult birth. These include:
- Breech presentation—the baby is supposed to emerge head first, but if it is upside-down, vaginal delivery may be more challenging
- Fetal distress—if the baby’s oxygen supply is cut off or if its heart rate indicates distress, an emergency Cesarean section may be performed
- Cord prolapse—when the cord emerges through the cervix first, contractions can cut off the baby’s blood flow
- Failure to progress in labor or failed induction of labor
- Uterine rupture—when the uterus tears during pregnancy or labor
In all of these cases, a Cesarean section is indicated, although once a mother enters a distressed labor, the chances of a negative outcome for both mother and child are increased.
Planned Cesarean Section to Avoid Dangerous Labor
There are many reasons why doctors should plan a Cesarean section before attempting vaginal birth so that they can avoid a complicated labor and delivery. These include:
- Placenta previa—when the placenta blocks the cervix, which can increase risks for mother and child
- Placental abruption—when the placenta separates from the uterus. Generally requires an emergency c-section.
- Cephalopelvic disproportion (CPD)—when a baby’s head is too large to fit through the mother’s cervix
- Large fetus—If the child is estimated to be more than 5 kg (about 11 pounds), a Cesarean section is generally recommended. Cesarean sections are recommended for smaller babies if the mother has diabetes
- Previous high-risk pregnancy
- Preeclampsia—elevated blood pressure during pregnancy
- Mother with STDs
If a doctor doesn’t take appropriate action to account for these situations, it can lead to an attempted vaginal birth that causes complications, and whether or not a Cesearean section is performed at that point, the mother and child have been put at increased risk.
If your child has suffered a birth injury because your doctor didn’t perform a Cesarean section in response to risks, you may be able to get compensation to help you pay medical and other costs for your child’s needs.