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20th Baby a Ridiculously Foolish Choice for Duggar

...medically speaking. OB/GYNs cite risks of preeclampsia, yet another cesarean
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 9, 2011 1:56 PM CST
Michelle Duggar's Choice to Have 20th Baby a Foolish One
In this 2007 file photo, Michelle Duggar, left, is surrounded by her children and husband Jim Bob, second from left, after the birth of her 17th child in Rogers, Ark.   (AP Photo/ Beth Hall, File)

(Newser) – Michelle Duggar's joy is an OB/GYN's "worst nightmare"—at least, according to three OB/GYNs. Writing for the Daily Beast, Yvonne Bohn, Allison Hill, and Alane Park react to the news that the reality TV star is expecting her 20th child with a mixture of trepidation and horror. The physicians begin by reviewing the circumstances of her previous pregnancy, in which she gave birth to a 1-pound, 6-ounce baby three months prematurely, due to Duggar's severe preeclampsia. And that preeclampsia—aka hypertension of pregnancy—is no joke: Since her case occurred before the 30-week mark, there's a 40% chance she'll experience it this time around.

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It can cause everything from stroke to seizures to respiratory failure to death. In fact, it's the source of 15% of maternal deaths worldwide—and there's no way to prevent it. And that's just risk No. 1. The second is the fact that this will be her fifth cesarean section. The scarring caused by her previous cesareans will make this one all the more difficult; she also faces an increased chance of developing another deadly condition, placenta accreta. "Clearly, every family has the right to choose how many members it will have," the trio writes. "But purely from the medical perspective, Michelle is putting herself, and her unborn child, at risk. While Michelle survived last time, there’s no way to predict if she will be as lucky." (Read more Michelle Duggar stories.)

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