Risks associated with unnecessary cesarean sections

When you envision giving birth, chances are, you picture a traditional vaginal delivery that results in a happy, healthy baby. Unfortunately, however, many expectant mothers plan to deliver their babies vaginally, but then find out their doctors recommend they undergo cesarean sections for one reason or another.

While, in some cases, mothers or babies experience medical issues that may make C-sections safer options, Consumer Reports notes that your chances of having a C-section delivery vary broadly based on the hospital in which you deliver your child. While, nationwide, about a third of all births result from C-section deliveries, you may face a nine-times-greater risk of delivering via this method if you pick the wrong hospital to deliver in.

Unnecessary risks

Going under the knife is inherently risky, and for this reason, it may be unwise to deliver your child via a C-section if you have a low-risk pregnancy. Researchers believe that nearly half of all C-sections performed in the United States are not medically necessary, which raises questions about whether some medical care providers prioritize profits over patient health.

Just what kind of risks do you face, should you have a medically unnecessary C-section? Statistics show that women who have-low-risk pregnancies and go on to deliver their first children through C-sections are three times more likely to die or suffer life-threatening complications during delivery, including heart attacks, blood clots and serious infections. Other potential issues that can arise from unnecessary C-sections include hemorrhage, organ injuries, sepsis and other infections. Children delivered via unnecessary C-section also face heightened risks. They are, for example, more likely to suffer from asthma or obesity than their peers not delivered via unnecessary C-sections.

Researchers claim that unnecessary C-sections cause as many as 20,000 serious surgical complications annually. If your doctor recommends you deliver your child through this method and you do not believe doing so is medically necessary, you may want to explore your options before agreeing to give birth in this manner.