Find out more on c-sections and if they can cause brain damage in your child.

Does a vaginal birth after C-section (VBAC) increase the baby's risk for cerebral palsy?

Yes, a vaginal birth after C-section (VBAC) delivery can increase the baby’s risk of developing cerebral palsy and other birth injuries. During a VBAC, women are more likely to experience uterine rupture; this is an obstetrical emergency in which the uterus tears. When uterine rupture occurs, babies may experience severe oxygen deprivation, which can, in turn, cause hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) and…

Can a delayed C-section cause brain damage and hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE)?

Delayed C-section deliveries can cause forms of brain injury, such as hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) or cerebral palsy in a baby. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has established a decision-to-incision time (time within which a cesarean delivery should take place after an emergency sign presents) of 30 minutes or faster (1).  In the…

Can I have a vaginal birth after a C-section (VBAC)?

A vaginal birth after a C-section delivery (VBAC) is the vaginal delivery of a baby by a mother who has previously given birth via C-section. Due to the high rate of maternal injury and fetal hypoxia (oxygen deprivation) associated with VBAC, the medical standard for many years was that once a mother had a C-section…

Can my baby's heart rate be monitored during a C-section?

Yes. Electronic fetal monitoring is critical not only in labor and vaginal delivery but also during Cesarean sections (C-sections). When performing a C-section, medical professionals must ensure that fetal heart rate monitoring is done as continuously as possible. Sometimes there is an interruption in fetal monitoring from the time when the monitor is removed (which…

What is a C-section? When are C-sections performed?

A C-section delivery refers to the delivery of a baby through surgical incisions in the abdomen and uterus (womb). C-section deliveries can be classified as primary (first C-section delivery) or repeat (after a previous C-section birth). In the U.S., over one million C-section deliveries are performed a year, and they account for approximately 33% of…