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C-sections are often medically unnecessary

For expecting parents in Boston, pregnancy is often a time of joy as they eagerly prepare for the birth of their baby daughter or son. Unfortunately, for those who suffer pregnancy-related injuries, the dream can become a nightmare.

Sometimes those injuries occur when a medically unnecessary surgery is performed. That can include delivery by cesarean section, commonly called a C-section. In some cases, C-sections are necessary, and can protect the life of the baby and the mother. Those cases include when the baby is not properly positioned for birth, when the placenta is blocking the cervix. C-sections may also be necessary in some specific cases when the mother is carrying multiple babies.

However, in most regular low-risk pregnancies, C-sections are not necessary. In those instances, the mother on whom a C-section is performed is being subjected to unnecessary surgery, with all of the corresponding health risks attendant thereto. It can also add costs, and create recovery issues, that are in addition to those that are a part of a non-surgical delivery. Additionally, women who get a C-section for their first delivery are more likely to get one for each subsequent delivery as well, compounding recovery and other issues.

A woman's risk of being put through an unnecessary C-section delivery is affected in majority part by which hospital she goes to. Many women are checking on the C-section rate at their local hospitals and then going out of their way to go to hospitals with lower rates. The idea is that hospitals with lower rates are less likely to perform C-sections unnecessarily.

Some hospitals, realizing that they need to avoid rushing women into C-sections, are actively working to reduce their rate. This includes educating staff and patients. It also includes ensuring that the health of the women takes precedence over the money that the hospital can make. Any woman who feels that she was rushed into a C-section that was not medically necessary may want to consult with an attorney about her legal options, especially if she is suffering physical repercussions because of it.

Source: Consumer Reports, "Your Biggest C-Section Risk May Be Your Hospital," Tara Haelle, accessed June 27, 2017

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