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Mothers may want a say in their labor and delivery options

At DeLuca & Weizenbaum, Ltd., we believe you should have the right to choose the type of care you receive during your pregnancy, and the right to make informed decisions on your labor and delivery process. We understand that some situations necessitate a planned or emergency cesarean section; however, Providence doctors should not force you into unnecessary surgery simply because it is considered standard procedure after a previous C-section.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an astronomical number of pregnancies end in C-sections in America. The C-section rate in 2012 was 32.8 percent, but medical professionals say the cesarean rate for any country should be no more than 15 percent. Having had a previous C-section is a major reason many women undergo a second or subsequent surgery instead of attempting a vaginal birth after a cesarean – also known as a VBAC.

There is a slight risk of uterine rupture along scar tissue during a VBAC, although the American Pregnancy Association states that up to 80 percent of women who previously had C-sections can have a safe vaginal delivery. You may, in fact, have a one in eight chance of dangerous complications with a C-section after repeated surgeries, warns the National Advocates for Pregnant Women.

This information is exactly the reason you should be allowed a voice in your birth plan. In one case, personnel at a Florida hospital threatened to report an expectant mother to child welfare services if she did not agree to a C-section, after three previous surgeries. Instead of giving in to demands, she had her baby at a different hospital that allowed her to attempt a vaginal birth. Although she ultimately had a C-section, she said she felt empowered to be able to make her own informed choice and consent to the procedure on her own terms.

There are risks associated with C-sections, including infections, bleeding and other complications, especially if your doctor makes a mistake. This is one reason you may wish to be a part of the decision-making process before your baby’s birth. Learn more about mistakes during labor and delivery by visiting our page.

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