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Forced C-sections may leave women feeling helpless

If you are expecting a child in Massachusetts, you may or may not already know whether you will have a cesarean section. The C-section rate in America, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is high when compared to other countries. Medical professionals advise that a nation’s C-section rate should not exceed 10 to 15 percent, but 32.8 percent of mothers in the United States underwent these potentially risky surgeries in 2012. At Donovan & O'Connor, LLP, we believe you have the right to be informed about the possible risks of any procedure and that you should be allowed to consent to a procedure instead of having it forced on you.

This was the problem one woman faced after she had already had three C-sections. Doctors at her hospital told her they would contact Child Protective Services if she would not consent to the surgery. However, she had done her research and believed she should be allowed to try for a vaginal birth first. According to the American Pregnancy Association, up to 80 percent of mothers who previously had cesareans are able to successfully have a baby vaginally. Ultimately, the woman chose a different hospital and attempted a vaginal birth before consenting to a C-section. She said being allowed to make her own informed choice was all that mattered to her.

Many doctors recommend all pregnant women with prior C-sections have the surgery, because of the small risk of uterine rupture during labor. However, C-sections also come with risks. You may develop an infection or a complication from a surgical error. If you’ve had three or more previous C-sections, you have a higher risk of complications with another C-section. Having some measure of control over your birth experience is also likely to be important to you. For more information on potential complications during labor and delivery, visit our page.

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