Birth is supposed to be a joyous experience where a mother meets the child she has quietly loved for almost a year. Whether it takes several days for a first-time mother or mere minutes for a woman who has already given birth before, labor and delivery are dangerous times for both mother and child.
While most births progress smoothly, sometimes things don’t go as well as the expectant mother hopes. In a difficult situation, a pregnant woman will be grateful to have medical professionals there to help her overcome the emergency and safely give birth. Doctors can stop a maternal hemorrhage after delivery, for example, or intervene when an unborn child goes into distress.
Sadly, for a small percentage of expectant mothers, the actions or mistakes of the medical professionals caring for them during labor can lead to birth injuries. What are two of the most common ways that medical professionals contribute to birth injuries?
They don’t monitor a mother properly
A woman is incredibly vulnerable during active labor, and her situation can change drastically in a matter of minutes. The baby is also medically vulnerable, especially if its position affects the supply of oxygen it receives.
It is easy for medical professionals to observe signs of distress in an expectant mother, but it is far harder to spot signs of distress in an unborn child. Fetal heart rate monitoring is crucial during labor, and inadequate monitoring or poorly-maintained equipment can lead to preventable and tragic outcomes.
They perform unnecessary interventions
One of the biggest concerns with modern obstetric care is how doctors treat birth like a disease rather than a natural process. Unnecessary interventions, like a completely elective cesarean section, may increase a woman’s risk of injury to herself or her child. Improperly applied interventions, like forceps, can also cause birth injuries ranging from damage to the eyes to nerve damage.
Birth injuries can affect the careers of the parents and the finances for the entire family, as well as the quality of life for the new child. Understanding if medical professionals are at least partially responsible for a recent birth injury can help you take appropriate steps to hold them accountable.