The parents of a 3-year-old boy born with cerebral palsy are suing Legacy Health System for an alleged botched water birth. According to the local NBC News affiliate, “Luca Marino was born at a Portland hospital in December 2011, the lawsuit says. His parents, Matthew Marino and Amy Benton, allege the hospital wrongly stated that water births carry less risk than traditional births and Benton was a good candidate. The lawsuit says Luca should have been delivered by C-section. The suit also blames the hospital for having midwives and nurses manage the delivery without a supervising obstetrician.” While water births have grown popular in recent decades, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Academy of Pediatrics said in a joint opinion last year that immersion in water during the first stage of labor may decrease pain and the duration of labor. But it said the safety and efficacy of delivering a baby underwater have not been established: “Given these facts and case reports of rare but serious adverse effects in the newborn, the practice of immersion in the second stage of labor should be considered an experimental procedure.” Cerebral palsy is a condition that may indicate an error in the birthing or delivery process. Cerebral palsy may result if a child is deprived of oxygen during childbirth. It is a term used to describe a series of neurological disorders that have lifelong adverse effects.
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