Having a baby is an exciting life event, but it also comes with normal worries. However, one that no mother should have to face is the likelihood of a birth injury.
Birth injuries usually bring to mind doctors who made errors during labor and delivery. However, the term "birth injury" covers more than just the time when a baby comes into the world. It also applies to pregnancy.
1. Insufficient prenatal care
Pregnant women visit their providers frequently for monitoring, applicable treatment and education. Insufficient prenatal care may look like any of the following:
- Not scheduling enough visits
- Failing to administer necessary tests
- Dismissing the mother's concerns, especially for nonwhite women
- Not following general standards of care
- Failing to prescribe appropriate medication or nutritional guidelines
Negligence may occur in emergency situations, as well.
2. Diagnostic errors
As natural as pregnancy is, there is the risk of health problems arising in the mother, child or both. Some of these include gestational diabetes or preeclampsia for the mother and physical defects to the child.
It is the provider's responsibility not only to recognize these issues but also to diagnose them correctly and in a timely manner. Proper diagnosis means the mother and/or child will receive the proper treatment, thus raising the chances of a better outcome. It also helps the parents prepare financially and emotionally for any long-term medical care that may be necessary.
3. Prescription drug mistakes
When medication is necessary during pregnancy, it takes careful prescribing and monitoring to ensure the safety of the mother and child. First, doctors must prescribe the right medication. Doctors also need to know and remember the mother's health background, such as if she is taking any current medications that need to change to protect the baby or that may interact negatively with another drug she needs to start taking. Dosage amounts are imperative as well to prevent any harm.