Q: Is a family practitioner able to perform a caesarean section delivery?
A:For women who are pregnant and preparing for childbirth, it is important to know that the possibility of a caesarean section (C-section) delivery is around 1 out of 3 today. According to the most recent data from the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, approximately 32 percent of all U.S. childbirths are performed through a caesarean section procedure. Any obstetrician can perform a C-section, but if the pregnant woman elects to have a family practitioner perform the delivery, a C-section may not be possible.
Only some family practitioners have clinical privileges to perform C-section deliveries. Though some C-sections are planned ahead of time, sudden complications occasionally arise during childbirth which may all but require a C-section. For example, if the baby is showing signs of decreased oxygen levels or abnormal heart activity during the delivery, a C-section allows the baby to be delivered much faster than if done vaginally. There are risks to a C-section delivery as well. These include occasional breathing complications for the baby, negative reactions to the anesthesia by the mother's body or an accidental surgical injury to a nearby organ during the procedure.