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Texas mothers should be aware of new guidelines for C-sections

With around one-third of deliveries being done as cesarean sections instead of vaginal births, almost every pregnant woman has at least some knowledge about the surgical procedure. Two major medical societies, the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, have issued new guidelines for this surgical procedure that might reduce the number of C-sections being performed.

The rate of cesarean sections being performed has increased more than 60 percent in the past 15 years. The World Health Organization notes that only 10 to 15 percent of births actually require a C-section. That increase has caused some concern. One of those concerns is that the death rate of women who have a C-section is three times higher than those who have a vaginal delivery. The risk of death increases with each C-section.

Another concern is for the newborn. When the woman doesn't experience contractions, the baby is at risk of respiratory complications because the contractions help to squeeze fluid from the baby's lungs.

Prior to the recent update in guidelines about what is a slow labor, doctors were using standards from the 1950s. The new guidelines encourage doctors to be patient when a woman is in labor.

Deciding when a C-section is necessary is something that a doctor has to seriously consider. In some cases, such as when the placenta blocks the uterine opening, a C-section is necessary. While breech presentation has been previously considered a reason for a C-section, the report says doctors shouldn't automatically jump to that decision. It also says a large baby isn't necessarily a reason for the surgery either.

If you or your baby has suffered because of a doctor's decision to perform a C-section or declining to do a C-section, you might have the right to seek compensation for the injury. Seeking the advice of someone who has experience with birth injuries in Texas might help you to get answers to any questions you may have.

Source: USA Today, "Groups call for safe reduction of C-sections" Liz Szabo, Feb. 20, 2014

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