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C-Section Births May Not Be Appropriate for Some Premature Deliveries

Are Cesarean section births always advisable when it is known that a baby will be born premature? In the past, doctors seemingly always advised patients to have the surgical births in these situations, because it was assumed that birth injuries and complications were minimized in those situations. However, a new study reported by MSNBC‘s Health Today suggests that might not be the case. Each Chicago birth injury attorney at our firm was interested to read that the study finding suggest that C-sections may not be safer than regular vaginal births for the most fragile preterm children. In fact, this particular study suggests that the surgical births could lead to more complications in infants, including respiratory problems.

The story draws on research that was presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine. Those presenting the findings suggest that they necessitate a re-thinking of the merit of C-sections in certain situations. The findings were presented by a professor of gynecology and obstetrics at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

These research results fly in the face of current practices. According to the most recent data available, from 2009, about 46% of premature babies were delivered via C-section. Those born a few weeks later (37-39 weeks of gestation), have C-section rates that were ten percent lower. The discrepancy is usually explained by the fact that vaginal birth might be too traumatic for the most fragile infants. However, the new study suggests otherwise. After analyzing the medical records of more than 2,500 babies born prematurely over an eight year period they found that more than 55% had been delivered via C-section. But they didn’t find health benefits for the surgical births. Those born vaginally were no more likely to develop problems. In fact, C-section births led to increased risk of respiratory distress syndrome-a condition that may have long-term effects on the infant, often turning into asthma.

Blog readers are familiar with the current debate raging around the overuse of C-section births. Our Illinois birth injury lawyers have shared information from many sources which suggests that the rising use of C-sections is not only unnecessary (and costly) but actually more dangerous for mothers and infants. As one commentator noted of the situation, “The rates of C-sections are going up in this country. One reason may be in vitro fertilization and multiple births. One part of it, though, is women trying to put delivery on their own schedules. And, you’ve heard this before: ‘too posh to push.'”

We understand that there are no easy answers to apply in all cases. When it comes down to it, every decision must be an individual one between a mother and her doctor about what is best considering each factor unique to their particular case. As with all medical care, it is helpful for families to be as fully engaged in the process as possible. That involves asking questions, seeking explanations, and ensuring that their medical professional is not just “going through the motions” but actually making the best choice in their specific case.

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Report Finds Recent Rise in C-Section Births