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When a C-section goes wrong

At the Law Office of Robert A. Miller in Oregon, we know how exciting it is to bring a new life into the world. When you must undergo a caesarean section in order to achieve it, however, the risks to both you and your baby increase. reports that approximately 33 percent of expectant U.S. moms deliver their babies via C-section. Some expectant mothers choose this delivery method; others have no choice in the matter if a pregnancy or birthing emergency occurs. Whatever the reason for a C-section, you should not undergo one prior to the 39th week of your pregnancy unless you or your baby is facing a very serious problem.

Your baby’s lungs and other organs are not fully developed before your 39th week, and if (s)he comes into the world before then, (s)he may have to spend significant time in the neonatal intensive care unit before you can take him or her home. (S)he also could suffer a permanent mental disability. Even after 39 weeks, both you and your baby are at higher risk of injury from a C-section than from a vaginal birth.


During a C-section, the anesthesia you receive numbs your lower body. The goal is to give you enough to prevent your feeling pain during the procedure, but not so much that it negatively affects your baby. Anesthesiologists often miscalculate the amount any given woman needs. You therefore may experience significant pain during your C-section. In an extreme situation, you could even lose consciousness due to the pain.


Physicians use a variety of sharp instruments during a C-section. Since your bowel, bladder and other organs are very close to your uterus, you are at high risk for your doctor inadvertently nicking or even cutting into one or more of them, causing internal bleeding which the doctor may or may not catch and correct before sewing you up. In addition, if your bowel or bladder becomes damaged during your C-section, you could experience fecal or urinary incontinence. If your doctor does not immediately catch and correct these situations, you may well need a second surgery to correct the problem.

Your baby, too, is at risk for receiving lacerations, sometimes deep ones, from the sharp surgical instruments. Studies show that 2 to 6 percent of C-section infants suffer such lacerations.

These are only two of the ways in which your C-section can go wrong. Always remember that a C-section is major surgery, the risks of which you should seriously consider before deciding or agreeing to undergo one.

For more information on this subject, please visit this page of our website.