When you are ready to head to the hospital to have your baby, you are probably trusting your doctor to ensure a safe delivery. AmericanPregnancy.org reports that there is about a one in four chance you will deliver via a cesarean section. Because a C-section is a major surgery, the risks it poses to you and your baby amplify when compared with those associated with a traditional, vaginal birth.
Even seemingly small medical and surgical errors can lead to significant injuries and hardships, so it is important to know the potential dangers if you suspect you may have to have this type of procedure. Many C-sections are unplanned and arise from emergency situations, so it is wise to learn the risks even if you have no reason to think you will have one.
Risks for you
As is the case with most surgeries, you face the risk of a site infection when you undergo a C-section. You may also develop an infection in other parts of your body, such as your bladder, or develop adhesions or scar tissue.
You are more likely to die during childbirth when you have a C-section as opposed to a vaginal delivery, and you also run the risk of suffering an injury to other organs that a surgeon may nick or otherwise damage during the procedure. Blood loss and hemorrhage also result from C-section deliveries, and some mothers develop a need for further surgeries, which may be additional C-sections or bladder repair procedures, among other possibilities.
Risks for your baby
After you give birth via C-section, your baby may have lower APGAR scores than he or she would have, had you given birth naturally. APGAR scores assess your baby’s physical health and well-being immediately after birth. Your surgeon may also cut or nick your baby during the procedure, which happens in about one or two out of every 100 C-section births. Breathing problems are common among C-section babies, and your infant may also have a low birth weight if your physician miscalculated the child’s gestational age.
The physical and emotional trauma of even a slight injury can make the first few months of your baby’s life difficult for both of you. Holding a doctor liable for the mistake may help cover the costs of medical care, and pain and suffering, as you recover.