Hospitals May Avoid C-Sections for the Wrong Reasons

Part of the pregnancy process involves creating a birth plan for the mother that documents her preferences for how the delivery will be handled. Birth plans often take into account any health concerns surrounding the pregnancy, as well as any previous difficulties the mother has experienced with delivering a child, in addition to preferences for natural delivery, etc. While a mother may desire and request a natural birth, doctors are always expected to do what’s in the best interest of the health of mother and child. For this reason, recent news that hospitals are discouraging C-Sections in pursuit of better statistics is extremely troubling.

Some argue adamantly that the rise in C-Section rates is due to inconsequential factors, including increased billing in comparison to a natural delivery or a woman’s desire to avoid the physical setbacks associated with a natural birth. While there may be some truth in each of these ideas, the fact remains, though, that a timely C-Section is a proven factor in preventing significant harm to a child during a difficult delivery. As such, the idea that bureaucratic mischief like seeking improved delivery statistics could impact the type of delivery decision-making is bothersome and worthy of much more public awareness.

In short, looking to drop ratios of C-Section versus natural birth can lead to tragic results. The use of methods and medicines to influence the delivery so as to avoid a C-Section should only be done when a baby is not demonstrating evidence of fetal distress and/or other problematic challenges; ultimately, a medical professional’s focus must always be on the delivery a healthy baby, regardless of method, and not a quarterly statistical report.

A history of C-Sections being used for aesthetic or superficial reasons in the past should not overcome their safety value in the present. Even if a mother has determined in her birth plan that she would prefer to deliver naturally, a medical professional must step in to explain the valid urgency behind performing a timely C-Section.

So what can a mother do? Returning to the birth plan component, an expectant mother should have an open dialogue with her doctor to determine what situations or circumstances she, or her doctor, believes may warrant a C-Section. While natural birth may be preferred by a mother, openly explaining that she is open to having a C-Section if it makes sound sense for the health of the baby, especially if circumstances change (i.e. position of baby, cord wrapping around child, mother’s health, staffing, etc.), is simply good practice and preparation.

If your birth plan included delivering naturally, you should not feel responsible for problems that occur during labor, making a C-Section necessary. Instead, the onus is on the attending physician and those who were entrusted with the health of you and your child to prevent complications where possible and to intervene timely when necessary. Delays in delivery, resulting in a C-Section or not, require review to ensure that the proper steps were followed. When a doctor fails to take corrective action to preserve the health of mother and child, they need to be held accountable.

This accountability comes in the form of Lifetime Benefits. Made available to children whose Cerebral Palsy is determined to have been preventable, these funds are dedicated exclusively to help a child overcome the assortment of challenges they now face due to a brain injury resulting in Cerebral Palsy. To request a Medical Legal Review to determine if your doctor took the proper course of actions when it comes to your child’s birth, contact us today. As Statutes of Limitation vary state-to-state, with some barring taking legal action after as little as 3-4 years after birth, it’s important to take action as soon as possible to protect your child’s rights.

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