Louisiana parish given dubious distinction regarding births

If you're a recent mother in Rapides Parish, Louisiana, the odds are high that you gave birth via C-section. In fact, there are no higher rates of C-sections among new mothers anywhere else in the United States in counties with 100,000 or more people. Rapides Parish has earned the unhappy distinction of being the C-section "capital" of the nation.

According to federal data, 50% of all births in Rapides Parish in 2017 were performed via C-section, including 47.3% of low-risk pregnancies. The World Health Organization, by comparison, says that C-sections should only account for a maximum of 15% of all births.

Far too often, doctors treat C-sections as a tool of convenience. They don't want to be bothered with a long labor, so they push a woman into accepting a C-section far too early. Or, they push patients into scheduling C-sections that aren't medically necessary just to free up space on their schedules. Some even mislead patients into thinking that C-sections are a safer alternative to vaginal delivery.

The potential complications of an unnecessary C-section are vast. For the infant, there's a possibility that the delivery will be too soon (if the gestational age is miscalculated). Babies are also sometimes injured during the surgical incision. Others develop breathing problems due to the anesthesia.

The risks to the mother are even greater. She may develop internal infections around the surgical site, will likely face extensive healing time, can suffer from injuries to her internal organs, lose spinal fluid and require follow-up procedures. Some women even hemorrhage badly after a C-section. Others may lose their lives to adverse reactions to the anesthesia or lose their ability to have additional children due to internal adhesions and scarring.

If you or your child suffered an injury due to an unnecessary C-section, you have every right to learn more about your options for recovery. An attorney can help you evaluate your case.

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