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Survey: Many women need more information before delivery

Having a baby is supposed to be one of the happiest days in a mother's life. Yet, a recent survey found that many women are undergoing medical procedures and allow interventions with their delivery without being properly informed of the possible risks and possible complications.

The survey, conducted by the nonprofit Childbirth Connection, surveyed 2,400 women who had recently given birth. From those questions the nonprofit organization said it learned what it was afraid of: Women need more access to trustworthy delivery information in order to make the best decisions for themselves and their babies.

For example, roughly 40 percent of those asked said they had their labor induced, usually with oxytocin. Many said they were induced because they had reached their due date or there was concern the baby was getting too large. However, research points to neither of these explanations being reason alone to induce.

Many also said they felt pressured to be induced.

Another real concern is how one intervention, like being induced, can lead to another, like getting a c-section. In fact, the survey found that one-third of those who were induced and given an epidural ended up getting a cesarean section. Like any surgery, a C-section comes with its own risks and complications.

Of course, this is not to say having a C-section is not sometimes medically necessary. In fact, there are plenty of cases where medical negligence can come into question in cases where a C-section should have been ordered sooner, but was not, and the unborn child ended up suffering from a birth injury due to an untimely birth.

In the end, the message is that mothers need to know all of their options before going into labor. And, in cases where a procedure or intervention -- or lack of one -- leads to an injury for the mother or baby, it is advisable to contact an attorney in order to see if the medical providers should be held accountable.

Source: Consumer Reports, "Pregnant? Watch out for unnecessary c-sections and other questionable medical procedures," Joel Keehn, May 8, 2013

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