In 2015, the Journal of the American Medical Association published a study saying that a cesarean section rate of 10 to 15 percent may be too low. Although the World Health Organization advocates for this rate, research suggests that the optimal level may be closer to 19 percent. This was determined by analyzing 23 million C-sections that took place in 54 different countries during 2012.
According to the data, the number of fetal and maternal deaths decreased as the C-section rate climbed closer to 19 percent. The benefits of C-sections versus vaginal births seemed to level off at rates higher than 19 percent. In the United States, the C-section rate is 33 percent, and it also has one of the highest maternal mortality rate among developed nations. This may suggest that there is a connection between C-section rates and patient safety.
It has been suggested that money is a big reason why more American doctors opt for a C-section as opposed to letting the birth occur naturally. Studies have found that insurance companies may pay more for such a delivery while health care providers face higher opportunity costs by letting natural labors occur as they take longer to complete. On average, a health insurance provider will pay $27,866 for a C-section compared to $18,329 for a natural delivery.
If a mother or baby is injured during a delivery, it may be grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. A mother could be compensated for medical bills incurred or lost wages because of an extended hospital stay or overall recovery time. If there are birth injuries suffered by the baby, the damages could include the extra costs related to raising the child and other amounts.