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Under what circumstances would a Cesarean section be needed?

Any number of things can go wrong during a pregnancy. Fortunately, in most cases, many New Mexico women enjoy problem-free pregnancies.

However, some end up in a precarious position during the actual birth. It is up to the doctors and the nurses attending the birth to make sure that mom and baby remain safe and that they receive the best care possible. In some instances, this means ordering a Cesarean section.

When a C-section may be a surprise

Knowing the difference between when a C-section is necessary and when it makes more sense to give you and your baby more time is the responsibility of your medical team. The circumstances and conditions they should be looking for during your labor include the following:

  • Your baby is in the breech position and this often rules out a vaginal birth. Many breech babies are also in distress and could experience cord prolapse.
  • Cord prolapse is another potentially dangerous condition in which the umbilical cord slips and hangs out of the vagina. Every contraction could squeeze it and reduce the blood flow to your baby.
  • If your baby's oxygen levels drop to dangerous levels, he or she may be in fetal distress.

Other circumstances may necessitate a C-section, but those above are some of the most common cited reasons for an emergency C-section.

When a C-section may not be a surprise

In other instances, your medical team should know ahead of time that you will need to undergo this procedure instead of attempting a vaginal birth, such as for some of the following reasons:

  • If you are having twins, or more babies, a vaginal birth may not be possible.
  • If your blood pressure gets too high during your pregnancy, you could suffer from preeclampsia and delivering your baby should correct the condition. If your case is serious enough, you may need a C-section.
  • If you suffer from gestational diabetes, you may not be able to deliver your baby vaginally.
  • If your pelvis is too narrow or your baby's head is too large, it could complicate a natural birth.

Other serious conditions, such as a placental abruption or a uterine rupture, could also require a C-section. Your doctor should monitor you for any such condition throughout your pregnancy, labor and delivery. If anything should go wrong or give your doctor reason to doubt that a natural birth would be safe for you and your baby, this surgery could save your life or the life of your child.

If your doctor or the nurses attending your birth fail to recognize a problem, it could lead to catastrophic results for you, your baby or both. You have a right to hold medical personnel responsible for not providing you the standard of care you deserved.

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