Vaginal delivery is the safest means of childbirth for women in Oregon and throughout the United States. However, there are numerous issues that may arise during pregnancy or labor that would prompt an obstetrician (OB) to deliver a child by C-section instead. A pregnant woman can expect her OB or midwife to recognize symptoms or issues that would require a C-section to keep mom and baby safe.
A C-section is considered major surgery that carries inherent risk to both a mother and her infant. On the flip side, it could also be dangerous not to perform a C-section when a mother’s health or baby’s health is at risk in some way. Failing to perform a C-section when one is needed can place a mother or infant in a life-threatening situation.
Medical issues that merit a scheduled C-section
Delivering a baby by C-section is not always a medical emergency. The following list show numerous reasons why an obstetrician would schedule this type of delivery ahead of time:
- Mother in question has had a C-section in the past
- Maternal gestational diabetes with baby too large to deliver vaginally
- Mother has health problems, such as heart disease or high blood pressure
- Mother has infection that can transfer to her baby during vaginal birth
While this list is not extensive, these are some of the most common reasons why an OB would recommend a C-section delivery over a vaginal birth.
Emergency situations that may arise during labor
If a mother or infant shows signs of distress during labor when a vaginal delivery is planned, an OB may determine a need to switch course and perform a C-section instead. Reasons for this might include a prolonged labor or failure of the cervix to dilate. If an infant’s umbilical cord slips through the cervix (cord prolapse) this is also an emergency situation that requires a C-section delivery. Any mother may act on her own behalf or behalf of her infant if either of them suffers injury because of medical negligence regarding a C-section to seek compensation for damages by filing a personal injury claim in a civil court.