Getting To Know C-Section Risks And Complications

baby through c-section

You might not be expecting a cesarean section as part of childbirth, but it isn’t completely unheard of for a doctor to recommend one. They typically have valid reasons for doing so, but in the interest of safety most birth injury lawyers would recommend you know the potential risks ahead of time, as they could very well affect you and your child. Here’s what you’ll need to know.

Risk Factors And Complications

First it’s important to understand that many of the most serious complications from C-section deliveries aren’t from the operation itself. Whatever complications that caused the doctor to recommend a C-section birth are typically the most grave, and the C-section is an attempt to mitigate these issues.

Alternatively, C-sections might pose a risk if they are required as a last-minute option. In these scenarios, doctors might not be able to obtain the correct localized anesthetic for the operation and elect to use a general anesthetic instead. This increases the risk of complications where little to none would have existed otherwise. That being said, there are risks to C-section deliveries and several factors that make those risks greater, including:

  • Maternal obesity
  • Low maternal activity
  • Low maternal blood cell count
  • Use of an epidural
  • A large infant being delivered
  • A lengthy labor or surgery
  • Pregnancies with more than one baby
  • Allergies to anesthetics, drugs, latex, etc.
  • Premature labor
  • Maternal diabetes

As for the actual complications that might result from a C-section, the most serious is the death of the mother. You probably won’t need to be purchasing life insurance right away, though, because that is a rare development, as are many of the other risks that come with C-sections:

  • Post-delivery infection — In some cases, C-sections leave the uterus open to infection, and the spread of bacteria can cause endometritis.
  • Blood loss — C-section delivery can lead to postpartum hemorrhage, which could be because of a cut organ, blood vessel, or a tear in tissue during the operation.
  • Blood clots — In situations where the mother is overweight or the operation was lengthy, blood clots might form in the legs and pelvic area. If these break off and travel to another part of the body, it could result in death.
  • Complications for the baby — The baby could receive cuts during the surgery, and the C-section birth might result in reduced health scores post-delivery.

Remember, while these are all serious post-delivery side effects, grave complications resulting from C-sections are exceedingly rare, and some, like death, are more likely to occur because of pre-existing complications rather than the operation itself.