Experienced Personal Injury Representation

When should a doctor order a C-section?

Some women choose to have cesarean deliveries – they plan for them. These are called elective cesarean (C) sections. But most C-sections are unplanned. The need for it is usually not present until labor time nears or during labor. 

Typically, doctors schedule emergency C-sections due to different medical reasons, including:

Prolonged labor 

If labor lasts longer (about 20 hours or more of regular contractions for new moms and 14 hours or more for moms who have previously given birth), a doctor may need to order a C-section. 

Common reasons that may lead to prolonged labor are the baby is large, contractions are weak, the baby is in an abnormal position, the birth canal is too small and the mother is carrying twins or more babies.

If you have prolonged labor and your doctor fails to perform a cesarean, or at least a timely one, complications may occur.

Fetal distress

If your baby is not receiving enough oxygen through the placenta, you need an emergency C-section. Ideally, a C-section for fetal distress should be performed as quickly as possible.

Chronic health conditions

If you have a chronic health condition, such as high blood pressure, gestational diabetes or heart disease, an emergency C-section may be necessary; if vaginal delivery is likely to be dangerous.

Mothers with diseases that can be transmitted to the child may also need an emergency C-section to reduce the risk of transmission.

Birth defects

If your baby has been diagnosed with a birth defect, such as severe hydrocephalus, delivery through a C-section can reduce complications.

Inadequate monitoring, lack of experience and errors in lab results are common causes of failure to perform a timely C-section. If you experience this medical malpractice type, get legal help to protect your rights and your child’s.