Pregnancy is a time of uncertainty. Until you have testing done, you won’t know the sex of your baby or even whether you might have twins. There is also an infinite number of risks that could affect your house or the health of your unborn child.
Many of those risks manifest during the labor and delivery process right before you hold your child for the first time. Knowing a bit more about what can create major risk factors for you and your child can help you stay safer during a dangerous time.
Certain maternal and child health factors influence birth injury risks
There are certain personal characteristics that might increase your risk of having a difficult birth. Obesity, lengthy labor and even a small pelvis put all increase the risk you have during labor. The size of the baby and how they present (face-up or breach, for example) can also impact the risk.
Although these factors are outside of your control, your doctor should be aware of them and monitor you and your unborn child more closely because of the elevated potential risk.
Certain medical procedures have a correlation with birth injuries
According to an analysis of birth injury reports, certain medical procedures during labor can increase the likelihood of a birth injury. The use of forceps or vacuum assistance during labor can increase the risk to both mother and child.
The same is true of the cesarean section intended to surgically deliver a child not moving through the stages of birth appropriately or quickly enough. These medical interventions can help during labor and save lives, but when used improperly or performed negligently, they can cause significant harm.
Inadequate fetal monitoring can lead to doctors not intervening
Another completely preventable cause of birth injuries is inadequate fetal monitoring. There are currently devices that allow doctors to monitor the heart rate of a child either internally or externally.
Recording the fetal heart rate can help medical professionals notice signs of distress early and prevent oxygen deprivation or other complications that could have lifelong consequences for a child. When doctors or hospital staff don’t adequately monitor the baby, they may not take action in time to prevent birth injuries when things go wrong.
Knowing what causes birth injuries can help you stand up for yourself during labor or after medical mistakes affected what should have been one of the best days of your life.