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New guidelines urge longer 'wait and see' period before C-sections

Cesarean-section births recently reached an all-time high in America, but new medical guidelines indicate that we may be past the high-water mark.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine recently published guidelines advising doctors and patients to remain in labor longer before opting for a "plan B" C-section.

Specifically, the new C-section guidelines say:

  • A long labor should not be the reason for a Cesarean section unless 20 hours have passed for first-time mothers, 14 hours for those who already have children.
  • Six-centimeter dilation should be considered the start of labor (previously 4 cm).
  • There is no specific maximum duration for active labor.
  • Vacuum extraction and forceps delivery should be considered viable alternatives to a C-section.

Please note that these guidelines are not rules that physicians must follow, they are advisory in nature. Hospitals, clinics and doctors often have their own policies and predispositions that influence their actions.

C-sections are essential in certain situations. When physicians fail to recognize the warning signs associated with injury to the infant or mother and order an emergency C-section, when appropriate, they are liable for the resulting harm.

If your family has suffered from a botched delivery or unduly delayed C-section, an experienced Columbus birth injury attorney can help you assess your options.

Source: Columbus Dispatch, "New Advice Is To Put Off C-Sections," Misti Crane, March 9, 2014

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