What should be a joyous moment can become dangerous.
Childbirth puts significant stress on the mother's body, and medical professionals need to take steps to make sure there are no serious complications. Unfortunately, for some mothers, that's not the case. Significant complications can occur during birth; without proper medical attention, they can be life-altering or even life-threatening.
Some of the birth injuries mothers can sustain include:
Fractures (broken bones)
If the baby's head puts significant pressure on the coccyx (tailbone), it can be fractured during birth. Another possible injury is a separated pubic symphysis, a tear in the section of tough cartilage that connects the bones in the pelvic girdle. This injury can cause discomfort and pain for the mother for up to eight months after delivery.
During delivery, nerves in the pelvic area can be stretched or compressed, causing damage. Since the nerves in the pelvic area allow the legs to communicate with the brain, such injuries can have significant implications for the mother's mobility and quality of life. Depending on the nature and extent of the nerve damage, symptoms may include numbness, incontinence, difficulty walking, and even paralysis.
During a vaginal delivery, certain organs can prolapse and bulge down into the vagina. A prolapsed uterus can occur when the muscles and tissues of the pelvic floor weaken to the point where they can no longer support the uterus. The bladder and rectum can also prolapse during birth.
A uterine rupture — spontaneous tearing of the uterus — is a severe complication that poses a significant risk to both the mother and the baby. Uterine rupture is more common among mothers attempting vaginal birth after a previous cesarean delivery (VBAC).
This serious complication occurs when the placenta does not fully detach from the uterus and pulls it out of the body, turning the uterus inside out. Depending on the severity of the inversion, this is a potentially life-threatening complication that may require abdominal surgery or even an emergency hysterectomy.
Medical professionals need to prevent and address complications.
While not all injuries are entirely preventable, doctors know the risk factors associated with these complications, such as macrosomia, maternal age, preeclampsia, and medical history. Therefore, before labor, they need to perform the diagnostic tests and follow standards of care to prevent complications. During labor and delivery, they likewise need to be attentive to warning signs and practice safe, effective, evidence-based medicine to protect both mother and baby.
When they fail to meet that standard, we fight for accountability. If you or someone you know was seriously injured during childbirth, contact the Lancione Law Firm today for a free consultation.