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The respiratory risks of a cesarean birth

Most children in the United States are not born through a cesarean procedure. The statistics show that just under a third of all birth occur this way. Sometimes it is medically necessary, done as an emergency, and other times it is scheduled in advance.

There are some risks with a cesarean. For one thing, it's been shown that some babies have trouble breathing and have serious respiratory issues. This risk is especially high if the child's mother never actually went into labor.

Other studies have found that children who are born this way may have a greater chance of developing asthma later on in life. This can then be a life-long condition.

Breathing issues can be costly to treat. For example, in 2005, infant respiratory distress syndrome racked up the highest costs. Every time a child was diagnosed with the condition, the average cost was $114,200 — and that was more than a decade ago. Newborn babies diagnosed with this condition ended up staying in the hospital for an average of 25.7 days.

To put this in perspective, consider the fact that the length of time in the hospital and the overall costs were greater for this issue than for heart valve disorders, spinal cord injuries and even leukemia.

A cesarean birth cannot always be avoided, but you do deserve to know the risks when deciding how you want to proceed. If you weren't told about the risks, or a doctor's negligence increased them, you may be able to seek compensation. Considering the high cost of respiratory treatment and the lengthy hospital stays, you may be facing significant bills and damages.

Source: VBAC, "How Does a Cesarean Affect the Baby?," accessed Dec. 01, 2016

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