Childbirth, whether a vaginal birth or a C-section, can present some risks for both mother and baby.
Every method presents its own risks and challenges, therefore it is essential for all doctors to analyze, diagnose and advise their patients on the best, and safest option for them. It is essential for every pregnant mother, whether opting for a C-section after the previous delivery or a vaginal delivery after to understand both the procedures and risks.
VBAC – Vaginal Birth After C-Section
A VBAC is a natural birthing procedure. VBAC is also known as trial of labor after cesarean delivery (TOLAC), and though it has a number of benefits, a great amount of precaution is required on part of the doctor and his team to ensure safe delivery.
A VBAC may reduce the risks of thromboembolism, the risks of infections and fever post-delivery, and may reduce the duration of required hospital stay. There are fewer numbers of neonatal breathing problems seen among children in VBAC deliveries. About 70 to 80 percent of VBAC deliveries are successful and often in the remaining 20 to 30 percent, emergency C-sections are required if the VBAC attempt is unsuccessful.
However, VBAC deliveries increase the risks of uterine ruptures, especially at the location of the previous C-section incision. Uterine ruptures in turn increase the risks for the infant as well as the mother, wherein every 1 out of 20 infants die due to complications associated with uterine rupture.
Apart from these complications, the risks of uterine ruptures also increase by fifteen times with the use of Pitocin (used for augmenting labor), a procedure often used in vaginal births.
C-Section After Previous C-Section
A C-section is a surgical procedure where an incision is made by a doctor and the child is delivered. As such, all surgical procedures carry some amount of risk, and in cases of C-sections the risks include the possibility of infections, requirement for hysterectomy, pulmonary embolisms or blood clots, anesthesia related complications, etc. Repeated C sections also increase the risks of birth injuries to both the infant as well as the mother.
While a number of mothers opt for repeat C-sections after a previous C-section, many medical practitioners oblige and/or advise repeat C-sections for reasons of physician convenience. This is due to the fact that American College of Obstetricians and Gynecology (ACOG) that is the governing organization of almost all U.S. obstetricians, has strict guidelines laid down for VBAC procedures. These guidelines state that VBAC should be used as an option only if:
- Women do not have any pregnancy complications like placenta previa
- Have only one low transverse incision from a previous C-section
- Have never experienced a uterine rupture
- Have no physical limitation for a vaginal birth
- Have a baby in a normal head-down position
It is a doctor’s responsibility to provide the right care for a pregnant patient. If he/she fails to do so and a birth injury results, this can be found to be medical malpractice.
If you or your baby was injured during labor and delivery due to the medical malpractice or negligence of a doctor or other health care professional, you need to contact a Chicago birth injury lawyer to discuss your case.