Childbirth is a momentous and often joyous occasion. It can also be fraught with potential complications that may lead to injuries for both the mother and the infant. Proper monitoring during labor and delivery can sometimes prevent these issues.
Understanding these injuries is crucial for expecting parents so they can be aware of potential issues that might occur.
1. Placental abruption
Placental abruption occurs when the placenta partially or completely detaches from the uterus wall before delivery. This detachment can lead to severe bleeding in the mother and deprive the fetus of oxygen and nutrients. This can cause harm or even death if it’s not treated.
The exact causes of placental abruption aren’t always clear, but risk factors may include trauma, hypertension, smoking and previous occurrences of the condition. The abrupt onset of pain, vaginal bleeding and rapid uterine contractions are typical signs.
2. Uterine rupture
Uterine rupture is a rare but critical complication where the wall of the uterus tears during labor. This can lead to severe maternal bleeding and may compromise the baby’s oxygen supply.
Uterine rupture is more common in women who have had previous uterine surgery, such as a C-section. Immediate medical intervention is crucial in these cases to prevent life-threatening complications for both the mother and the baby.
3. Shoulder dystocia
Shoulder dystocia is another concern during delivery. This occurs when an infant’s shoulder becomes lodged behind the mother’s pelvic bone, complicating the delivery process. This can pose significant risks, including nerve damage to the baby’s shoulder, arm or hand, and, in severe cases, can lead to oxygen deprivation. Medical professionals must employ specific maneuvers to deliver the baby safely in these situations. The risk factors for shoulder dystocia include:
- Macrosomia, which is a larger-than-average baby
- Maternal diabetes
- A history of shoulder dystocia in previous deliveries
All these birth injuries can lead to significant problems that require ongoing medical care. When the problem was due to negligence from the medical team, a malpractice lawsuit might be in order. Working with someone familiar with these matters is beneficial.