Each year in the United States there are approximately 4 million births. When you go to a hospital to give birth, you should be able to expect that your doctor and the other medical professionals on staff will take proper care of you and your child.
Unfortunately, studies in recent years have shown that an estimated 157,700 mothers or newborns suffer injuries during the birthing process every year. For this reason, every expectant parent should be aware of certain steps they may take to try to prevent birth injuries and keep their families safe from harm.
Carefully choose your doctor
Having a qualified doctor delivering your child is imperative to the health and well-being of everyone involved, which is why it is surprising that many people choose an obstetrician via a Google search or whichever doctor is closest to them. Instead, you should always thoroughly question any potential obstetrician regarding their experience and philosophies, and you may want to even speak to some prior patients as references.
If you need special care due to a high-risk pregnancy, consider seeking out a perinatologist. Perinatology is a subspecialty of obstetrics focusing on the care of the fetus and complicated, high-risk pregnancies.
Understand fetal monitoring
Once you are in the hospital in labor, the staff will likely monitor the vital signs of your baby via electronic fetal monitoring (EFM). Not only should staff members be properly trained to use such technology, but you may ask for a basic rundown of how the equipment works so you may notice anything different on the monitors.
If you are concerned about a possible drop in the baby’s heart rate or other vitals, alert a nurse or midwife immediately and make sure they either take action to protect your child or give you adequate answers or explanations for change in EFM.
Have someone in the labor and delivery rooms with you
As you can imagine, expectant mothers in labor are already under a significant amount of stress and may not be in a condition to properly express their concerns or demand proper care. If another family member or loved one is present, they can act as an advocate for the mother and can ensure that any concerns are addressed or their needs are met. Family members may also be helpful in situations in which a mother is having difficulty breathing, is losing consciousness, or another event that prevents the mother from alerting staff herself.
These are, of course, only a few tips for preventing injuries during childbirth. Unfortunately, even the most careful expectant parents can still be victims of medical malpractice and birth injuries.
An Experienced Atlanta Birth Injury Attorney is Here to Help You
If you or your child suffered a preventable injury during childbirth due to medical negligence or malpractice, you should always consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to discuss how you can recover.
At the Atlanta law office of Goldstein Hayes & Lina, P.C., our skilled attorneys are dedicated to protecting the rights of injured mothers and children, so please do not hesitate to contact us for help today.