As an expectant mother, you trust your medical team to guide you through your pregnancy while protecting your health and that of your baby throughout the process.
Some childbirth injuries are unavoidable and part of the natural birthing progression, but others are the result of mistakes made by doctors, nurses or midwives during the course of pregnancy, labor or delivery.
Signs of birth injuries to babies
Some birth-related damage presents immediately upon delivery, but you may not notice others until days or weeks after birth. A few of the most common birth injuries include:
- Bruising, swelling or abrasions on the face, head or shoulders
- Failure to breathe after birth, requiring CPR or a breathing tube at the time of delivery
- Seizure events within 48 hours of birth
If you recognize signs or symptoms of a birth injury in your baby, you should seek medical attention immediately.
Common birth injuries to mothers
Birth-related harm does not only happen to babies. Mothers are at risk for injuries as well, including but not limited to:
- Perineal tears extending beyond normal limits, requiring repair and long-term treatment
- Post-partum hemorrhage (PHH) or abnormally heavy bleeding immediately or up to six weeks after birth
- Damage to the uterine wall causing increased blood loss and requiring emergency cesarean or hysterectomy surgery
While you are caring for your newborn bundle of joy, remember to monitor your own health during recovery.
If you or your baby have suffered a birth injury, understanding your rights as a patient is key to holding negligent medical professionals accountable for their mistakes.