For many women in the early stages of active labor, their only goal is to get to the hospital safely. No one wants to be the woman who gives birth in a taxi cab or the lunchroom at their office building. Women will generally have a safer delivery when they have the support of licensed and educated healthcare professionals, so they relax when they arrive at the hospital.
However, what is one of the most exciting and dangerous moments of a woman’s life is just another day at work for those professionals. You need to know the common ways that they could contribute to birth injuries to better advocate for yourself or your partner who is about to give birth.
THEY INTERVENE WHEN IT IS NOT NECESSARY
Birth is a natural process that most women’s bodies can handle without much external support. Birth professionals know that there is a cascade effect once medical professionals start administering drugs or intervening in labor.
The mother is more likely to need more treatment, possibly up to a cesarean, because of those early attempts to speed up her labor. More interventions also mean a potentially greater risk of birth injury.
THEY DON’T MONITOR THE BABY PROPERLY
Fetal heart rate monitoring is the only way to truly know the status of an unborn child during the labor and delivery process. Nurses and doctors should ensure that the equipment they use for monitoring is in good condition and that it remains placed appropriately throughout the labor process.
Monitoring mistakes might mean that hospital staff don’t notice when the fetus goes into distress and therefore don’t take interventions in time to prevent a birth injury.
THEY ENGAGE IN INAPPROPRIATE CARE PRACTICES
There are certain kinds of delivery care that are more effective and less dangerous than others. Different interventions may be appropriate at different times.
Forceps, for example, have a strong correlation with certain injuries. Using them inappropriately can be particularly dangerous for expectant mothers or unborn children. Using the wrong medication or giving a drug in a manner contrary to its approved uses could also be the source of devastating birth injuries, like uterine rupture.
If you believe that the actions or failures of the medical staff attending a birth led to the birth injury for you, your partner, or your child, you may have grounds for a medical malpractice claim. Connecting the birth injury that occurred with the actions or failures of the hospital staff will be an important first step for those impacted by a preventable birth injury.