It could be argued by mothers here in Ohio and elsewhere that the most important part of a woman’s birthing team is herself. She has been carrying her baby, feeling him or her move, and making choices every day that affect the baby’s future, including the birth. When it comes time to bring her little bundle of joy into the world, mothers may feel when something is wrong. She may be the best source of information regarding fetal distress, now called non-reassuring fetal status. The question is whether medical personnel will take her concerns seriously.

This condition can put a baby’s life at risk. The labor and delivery team should monitor the mother and the baby for low levels of amniotic fluid, an irregular heartbeat in the baby, and issues with the baby’s movement and muscle tone. Since the mother has the most intimate contact with the fetus, she would most likely recognize that something may be wrong first, perhaps due to mother’s intuition. The hard part may be getting someone to listen.

Doctors can employ a number of methods to combat non-reassuring fetal status. However, all of the available treatments only work when used quickly and properly. If a doctor fails to act in a timely manner, it will most likely result in harm to the baby. Even a couple of minutes could make the difference in avoiding serious harm or death.

If an Ohio mother’s protestations, complaints and requests go unheeded, or are not listened to soon enough, it may be due to some medical mistake or negligence. Medical personnel should continuously look for signs of non-reassuring fetal status during labor and delivery. When doctors fail to meet the applicable standard of care, parents may have the opportunity to pursue justice through a medical malpractice claim.