October 7, 2011

Mothers and Children At Risk in Early Cesarean Sections

by Levin & Perconti

Expectant mothers have a variety of concerns about how to ensure that their developing child is born without birth injuries or defects. There are no easy answers to some questions that mothers have, and it is always possible for problems to develop without the fault of anyone else. However, our Chicago birth mistake lawyers know that in many other cases there are problems that develop which could and should have been prevented. In those cases medical professionals are at least partially responsible for failure to properly advise mothers of complications, from acting too slowly to prevent problems, or from taking ill-advised steps that lead to permanent harm to the newborn.

Doctors play a crucial role in the birth of children, and it is vital that all medical professionals in these situations act reasonably to keep mothers and their children safe. More often than should be acceptable, mistakes are made. Decisions should also be made that minimize the risks of problems. For example, the Digital Journal explained this week how some medical professionals are risking harm by advising their patients to choose a Cesarean section to deliver their child before the babies reach full term—39 weeks. These early Cesarean sections are done instead of normal vaginal deliveries. According to the latest data, these C-sections are become increasingly popular, now totaling more than 36 percent of all births.

According to a new study from Yale university researchers, the C-sections are gaining popularity for both convenience and cosmetic reasons. Of course, there is some planning benefit to be able to schedule a pregnancy, and there can be certain physical benefits to surgical assistance in the birthing process. Uniquely, study from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development explained that more educated woman are more like to schedule their pregnancies with C-sections ahead of time. However, more and more advocates have worried about the undue influence that medical professionals have on convincing patients to have early C-sections. For one thing, it is convenient for doctors to schedule pregnancies around office hours and vacations. In addition, these surgical procedures may be encouraged not necessarily for medical reasons but because doctors fear birth injury lawsuits that can arise when a pregnancy is conducted naturally.

This skewed increase in C-section use has also raised concerns from organization like the March of Dimes who understand that every week of pregnancy is crucial for the health of both the mother and child. The consequences of cutting the gestation period short for convenience factors should never be underestimated when the well being of the patients are involved. Up until birth a baby is putting on weight and the brain, lungs, liver, and other organ continue to develop. Research continues to show that children are healthier and it is cheaper medically when infants develop naturally and are delivered without resort to C-section.

Our Illinois birth injury lawyers at Levin & Perconti believe that the well-being of mothers and infants should always be prioritized. We urge all local families to be cautious about the decisions that are made regarding planned deliveries. No matter what choice is made, it should be done with a balanced perspective with information from a variety of sources.

See Our Related Blog Posts:

Dramatic Rise in Cesarean Births

Report Finds Recent Rise in C-Section Births