As you navigate pregnancy, whether it’s your first time or you have had several other children, you rely on your medical team to help you and your baby stay safe. There are many risks involved in the birthing process; your doctor or midwife knows how to recognize signs of trouble and can take action to prevent birth trauma. Failure to act can result in serious injury.
Issues that would require close monitoring in pregnancy
There are certain issues that would alert your doctor or midwife to a greater than average risk for something to go wrong for you or your baby during labor and delivery. For instance, if you are age 35 or beyond, you would be high risk for certain adverse conditions. If you have diabetes, high blood pressure or were overweight before you got pregnant, these would also be issues of concern for your medical team.
As for your baby, if your doctor or midwife estimates a low birth weight or informs you that your baby is in a breech position, special care may be necessary to help your child thrive. Any adverse event during labor and delivery that impairs your baby’s body function or structure is categorized as a birth injury.
What type of trauma may occur a birth?
Head trauma is one of the most commonly reported types of birth injuries in the United States. Especially if an instrumental vaginal delivery takes place, a newborn is at risk for a skull fracture. A vacuum or forceps delivery also increases a risk of extracranial hemorrhage.
Spinal cord injuries, nerve damage, facial injuries and soft tissue injuries can also occur if something goes wrong during childbirth. If you or your baby exhibit signs of distress, your doctor or midwife might order an emergency C-section.
What if your doctor or midwife fails to act?
Throughout pregnancy, labor and delivery, if you report certain symptoms to your medical team or a concerning issue shows up on a sonogram, etc., the physician or midwife in charge should properly diagnose your condition and take appropriate steps to help you and your child avoid birth injuries.
If your caregiver disregards symptoms, misdiagnoses a condition or simply fails to take the action the average physician or midwife should take in similar circumstances, you or your child might be the one to suffer because of substandard care.
If you’re concerned about possible malpractice regarding your childbirth experience in a Delaware hospital, it’s always a good idea to speak with a patient advocate to express your concerns or seek answers to any questions you might have.