Childbirth is a delicate time for mothers and infants. Despite monumental advances in obstetrical care, birthing injuries and fatalities remain a reality for new mothers, as birthing injury lawyers understand. Now, a new study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal has shed light on the unique risks associated with cesarean section (C-section) deliveries.

The study examined thousands of new mothers in France, including more than 1,400 cases involving serious birthing complications and a test group of more than 3,400 cases where the birth went smoothly. Researchers found that C-sections were far more common in the complications group (36 per cent) than in the group that did not experience complications (18.2 per cent).

The difference was particularly stark in mothers aged 35 and over. Those who delivered by C-section were three times more likely to experience complications like bleeding and blood clotting than those who delivered vaginally.

“Women have to know this,” said Catherine Deneux-Tharaux, one of the study’s authors and a senior research at the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research. “It’s not to say that you have to avoid cesarean sections, because in many situations it can save the life of the baby or the mother … but it’s not as safe as vaginal delivery.”

Birthing injury lawyers know risks are present at every delivery, but the results of this study are particularly troubling as C-sections are increasingly common in Canada. Roughly 28.2 per cent of children were delivered by C-section in 2016-17, up from 26.7 per cent ten years ago, according to the Globe and Mail. The increase is attributed to several factors, including more pregnancies among older women and women with medical conditions, and softened opposition by the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada to C-sections on demand.

“Now, there is a rising incidence of cesarean by choice,” Jon Barnett, chief of maternal-fetal medicine at Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, told the Globe. “In that population, it might be reasonable to ask the question, how dangerous is it? But this study doesn’t answer that question because in this study there’s no way you can select out that population who chose it for absolutely no medical reason.”

If you or someone you know has experienced an obstetrical injury, whether due to a C-section delivery or otherwise, contact Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers to learn how we can help. Our experienced team of birthing injury lawyers have handled numerous complex cases relating to obstetrical malpractice and can provide level-headed guidance as you consider your legal options.


Image credit: U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt Eric T. Shelter


Greg Neinstein