As you navigate approximately nine months of pregnancy, you no doubt have experienced a vast array of emotions. You might feel excited and overjoyed as you near your due date and prepare to hold your baby for the first time. You might also be worried about a particular issue or have an overall feeling of anxiety that something might go wrong. Such feelings are typical, and discussing them with your licensed obstetrician or midwife may help alleviate stress.

You can take comfort in knowing that your doctor is closely monitoring yours and your baby’s conditions; at least, he or she should be doing so. You can also trust that your doctor is aware of symptoms that are causes for concern, such as issues that would warrant a C-section delivery instead of a vaginal birth. Such signs may surface ahead of time, so that your doctor has time to schedule a cesarean birth. Then again, problems can also arise unexpectedly during labor.

Basic facts about C-sections

There are numerous reasons your doctor might recommend or order a C-section delivery. As with all surgical procedures, there is a risk of injury for you and your child if you have this operation. The surgeon makes an incision to remove your baby from the womb through the abdominal wall and uterus. In recent decades, the number of C-sections per year in the United States has steadily increased.

Are they all necessary?

With no formal educational background in obstetrics, you rely on your doctor to know what is best for you and your baby during labor and delivery. If he or she recommends a scheduled or unexpected C-section, you should be able to trust that there is a legitimate reason. Sadly, many cesarean births are medically unnecessary. You can be proactive as a patient by seeking a second opinion or asking questions if you doubt whether this operation is truly needed to keep you or your baby safe.

Issues that warrant cesarean delivery

One of the things your doctor does during prenatal care is to check the location and position of the placenta. If it is lying low in your uterus or partially covering your cervix, your doctor knows to diagnose you with placenta previa, a potentially dangerous condition that places you in a high risk pregnancy category.

Placental abruption is also an emergency childbirth issue. This condition occurs when the placenta separates from the uterine lining. Both placenta previa and placenta abruption typically occur in the third trimester of pregnancy, and both issues warrant C-section delivery.

Other matters of concern

If your baby’s position in the womb is breech or there are any signs of fetal distress during labor, a vaginal birth may not be possible or might actually place you or your child at further risk for injury. The average licensed obstetrician or certified midwife knows how to recognize these and other danger signs that suggest a C-section delivery may be the best option.

Medical negligence is problematic in Illinois

In this state and most others, mothers and infants needlessly suffer infections and injuries because members of their medical teams perform at substandard levels of care. Medical negligence can have long-term or permanent negative effects on a woman’s or baby’s life.

You have a right to reasonably expect that your prenatal and childbirth medical team will adhere to protocol and act according to accepted safety standards to provide the highest possible quality care for you and your child. You can reach out for patient advocate support at any time if you believe a member of your team has failed in his or her duty.

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