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Ways Parents can Proactively try to Prevent Birth Injuries

pregnant woman

An estimated 4 million women [1] give birth in the United States on an annual basis, the large majority of whom choose for the birth to take place in a medical center, hospital, or other similar medical setting. If you choose to give birth in a hospital or similar environment, you should be able to rightfully trust that doctors, nurses, staff, or any other medical professionals will make proper decisions to care for you and your baby in a safe manner. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, as statistics published [2] in recent years demonstrate that approximately 157,700 newborns or mothers suffer some type of injury throughout the birthing process each year in the United States. Because of this risk of sometimes serious injuries, every parent who is expecting a child should be educated on certain steps they can take in an attempt to proactively prevent birth injuries and ensure the safety of their families.

Always choose a doctor carefully — Making sure that you doctor is extremely qualified to deliver your child is imperative to both your and your child’s health and well-being. Regardless of this fact, numerous expectant parents shockingly choose an obstetrician by simply searching the Internet. Perhaps even more surprising, many parents report remaining under a doctor’s care when they did not feel completely comfortable or were not completely satisfied with answers to their questions. This type of behavior simply puts you and your unborn child at risk of injury.

Instead, you should always thoroughly inquire into a potential doctor’s experience, philosophies, and any other issues with which you may be concerned, such as inducing labor. You would interview a potential employee, so why would you not interview the individual who will have your life in his or her hands? Similarly, you may wish to ask for references from previous patients. Finally, if you have a high-risk pregnancy that you believe may require special care or knowledge, consider speaking to a perinatologist.

Learn about Fetal Monitoring – Once you are admitted to the hospital in labor or to induce labor, nurses will likely use electronic fetal monitoring (EFM) [3] to keep track of the vital signs of your unborn child. Making sure the baby has enough oxygen and a strong heartbeat is vital to keeping the baby safe, so you want to understand how fetal monitoring works. All staff members should be properly trained in the use of such equipment and you should ask them for a basic rundown of the equipment, what the numbers mean, and what the warnings of weak vitals sound like. This way, if you are concerned regarding a potential drop in the heart rate or any other vital sign, you can promptly alert the nurses and ensure they give you an adequate explanation for the EFM changes or take action in order to protect your child.

Always have another person with you in the labor or delivery room – Expectant mothers are understandably stressed out, nervous, and possibly frightened. For this reason, they may not be in the position to adequately express concerns to medical staff or demand proper care if they believe it is not happening. If a spouse, parent, friend, or other trusted person is present, they can advocate on behalf of the mother and baby and communicate appropriately with medical staff. This person may also alert nurses if a mother cannot breathe, loses consciousness, or undergoes another event that makes it impossible for them to communicate.

Contact an experienced Clearwater birth injury attorney for a free consultation

The above are, of course, only a few examples of ways parents can try to prevent birth injuries. If you or your child suffers and injury during childbirth due to medical malpractice, an experienced birth injury lawyer at the Dolman Law Group can help you recover. Call our office today at 727-451-6900 for a free consultation today.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756
727-451-6900

[1] http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/births.htm

[2] http://www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov/reports/statbriefs/sb74.jsp

[3] http://www.webmd.com/baby/electronic-fetal-heart-monitoring