According to a recent study that was just published in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology, slightly over 1 in 100 babies born via C-section suffer an injury. Wounds to the skin accounted for about half of all injuries, followed by bruising of the head, a broken collarbone, facial nerve damage, injury to the chest-arm nerve network, and skull fracture. The highest risk of fetal injury occurred following attempts to delivery the baby vaginally with forceps or vacuum extraction. The lowest risk occurred in elective, repeat C-sections.
It’s still unclear to me how this compares to vaginal deliveries… Are the injury rates higher, lower, or comparable? Our own experience — based on four C-sections, two of which were unplanned — is that C-sections result in really pretty babies (not that this is a reason to have one) whereas babies delivered vaginally often look like they just went ten rounds in a boxing ring. Then again, maybe our kids are just cuter than everyone else’s… 😉