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What are the risks of having a Cesarean section?


Welcoming a baby should be a happy time for a family, and a time full of changes. People expect there to be many sleepless nights, newborn cuddles and family bonding. However, many people do not expect to undergo a Cesarean section, pregnancy trauma or other complications. Unfortunately, according to the American Pregnancy Association, nearly one out of every four women in the United States will have a C-section at some point in their lives.

A C-section is major abdominal surgery where the baby is taken out of the mother through an incision in her uterus instead of being born vaginally. While the procedure can save the lives of some mothers and babies, it can also lead to unexpected complications -- especially when doctors and hospitals are not careful.

The possible complications for a C-section include:

  • injury to other organs including the bladder or bowels
  • blood loss
  • infection
  • maternal death
  • need for other surgeries -- including hysterectomy
  • abdominal adhesions

In addition to these serious complications to the mother, the American Pregnancy Association also says that the mother can have poor reactions to medications that cause problems, an extended hospital stay and emotional trauma that interferes with mother-baby bonding.

A C-section also carries risk to the baby. Babies can suffer fetal injuries including cuts during the procedure. Babies born through C-section can also suffer from low birth weight, low APGAR scores -- indicating fetal distress -- and from respiratory problems. These issues can lead to further intervention for the baby.

In many cases, these complications can be prevented by a careful hospital and doctor. However, delivery room negligence can easily cause undue injury to the mother or child. People who have suffered from such injuries have legal rights and should contact a professional.

Source: American Pregnancy Association, "Risks Of A Cesarean Procedure," accessed Sept. 6, 2014

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