You have had no problems with your pregnancy so far, but your last checkup cast a few dark clouds on the horizon. Your doctor informed you that you may need a C-section to bring your baby into the world, and the news made you nervous.

The American Pregnancy Association explores common C-section complications. Educate yourself on the risks that you may face so that you can work with your doctor to lower the chances of you or your infant experiencing a birth injury.

Common risks and complications for the mother

C-section incision sites may become infected. Specifically, common infection sites include pelvic organs and the uterus. Compared to vaginal delivery, mothers risk more blood loss with a C-section. Hemorrhaging may require a blood transfusion to keep the mother safe. After the abdominal surgery, scar tissue could form along the pelvic region, triggering discomfort and blockage.

Some women experience negative reactions to anesthesia during a C-section. After the procedure, the mother may have an adverse reaction to post-operative pain medication.

Common risks and complications for the baby

Depending on how well health care professionals weigh the baby before the surgery, the child could have a low birth weight because of a premature delivery. Performing a C-section may also cause respiratory or breathing problems for the baby. After the procedure, the infant may need respiratory assistance. Rarely, babies experience fetal injury from a cut during the incision.

Soon after the birth, doctors perform the APGAR test to gauge the baby’s well-being. Infants born via C-section may have lower scores because of fetal distress, anesthesia exposure or low delivery stimulation.