C-sections happen when a doctor believes a mother or a child will face complications when giving birth to a baby through the birth canal. These complications can threaten the life or health of the mother, the child, or both.
Doctors typically won’t order a C-section unless there is a medical reason to do so. However, sometimes when one is needed, a doctor won’t order one, which can lead to the mother or child, being harmed during childbirth, or even dying in extreme instances.
When Does a Mother Need a C-Section?
A mother will need a C-section because she’s facing complications during her pregnancy or during the childbirth itself that can be dangerous for her or the child. A C-section may be planned ahead of time if the mother has known risk factors that can make a natural birth more dangerous for herself or the child. Risk factors during pregnancy that make a C-section more likely are the following:
- The mother had a C-section in the past
- Multiple children are expected to be born
- There is a problem with the placenta, such as placenta previa, which can block the cervix
- If the mother has an STD that can transmit to the baby during a vaginal birth
- If the mother has diabetes or high blood pressure
If a mother didn’t have complications during her pregnancy but faces these during the actual delivery process for the child, a doctor may order an emergency C-section if:
- The child is large
- The child has birth defects that can make a natural birth difficult or impossible, such as hydrocephalus
- The labor process is slow or stops
- Umbilical cord problems, including umbilical cord prolapse
- The baby’s position won’t allow their head to emerge first
- The baby is starting to asphyxiate
- The baby’s heartbeat is irregular
What Is an Emergency C-Section?
Emergency C-sections happen when a doctor determines during the birth that it would be safer to deliver the child this way than naturally. They are typically to be done within 30 minutes of being ordered, but they can take longer in some circumstances. However, not all mothers who need C-sections get them, which can cause harm to them or their child. If your baby was injured because your doctor failed to order a cesarean when it was needed, you will find resources at BirthInjuryLawyer.
Can a Mother Choose an Elective C-Section?
A mother can sometimes choose to have an elective C-section even if she doesn’t have a medical reason to obtain one. Not all doctors will allow mothers to do this due to the associated risks. However, mothers can also benefit from the process, meaning many choose this option.
Benefits of an Elective C-Section
Mothers may choose to undergo an elective C-section because they get to know when their child will be born. This can reduce their overall anxiety about the birth. It also reduces the likelihood that their child will suffer from neonatal asphyxiation.
Drawbacks of an Elective C-Section
A mother who chooses an elective C-section will face a greater chance of complications from birth, such as blood clots or blood loss and organ damage. They will likely require a C-section should she give birth to more children. They will also face a longer recovery period, which typically lasts around 5 days.
C-sections can help a mother avoid many of the risks of childbirth if they are already facing potential problems. They can also help a mother avoid problems for her child, even if risk factors that would make a natural birth more dangerous aren’t present. Doctors that fail to schedule a C-section when it is needed can be responsible for damages to the mother and child should they face complications during birth.