Childbirth is always one of the happiest moments in life. However, some unforeseen complications and injuries to either the baby or the mother can drastically change this happy moment.
Maternal birth injuries are physical injuries that a mother can experience during childbirth. Some of these injuries are unavoidable, and some can happen because of a doctor’s or midwife’s mistake. It is important to know the signs of these injuries and seek treatment for them immediately.
Though the doctor or midwife can recognize and treat some of these injuries immediately, others can leave the mother with life-altering conditions that can affect their mental health, career, and relationships. Here are some of the common maternal injuries during childbirth.
Women who give birth naturally can experience a perineal tear. To avoid having a severe tear, the doctor can make a surgical incision to make the vaginal opening wider. This is known as an episiotomy.
An episiotomy is performed only when necessary, for example, if the baby is breached, if the baby is too big or distressed, or if forceps are needed to help in delivery. This injury, when not well attended to, can cause several complications, including nerve damage.
Perineal tears can cause several complications:
Pain during sexual intercourse and when passing urine
Pain and soreness
Severe perineal tears may require corrective procedures. It is important to recognize and treat this injury immediately to avoid further complications.
This injury occurs when a mother’s pelvic floor muscles and ligaments stretch and weaken. When this happens, the uterus cannot be able to stay in its place. It will slip down into the vaginal canal.
Uterine prolapse can be caused by difficult, traumatic, and prolonged labor. Delivering a large baby and inducing labor also puts women at risk of this injury. Common symptoms of uterine prolapse are as follows:
A feeling of heaviness in the pelvis
Pain during sexual intercourse
The severity of this injury may vary, and when severe, a mother may have to undergo a surgical procedure to help repair the pelvic floor muscles.
Post-Partum Haemorrhage (PPH)
Every woman experiences vaginal bleeding after childbirth. The bleeding can last for around two to six weeks and can be very heavy during the first few days after delivery. However, when the bleeding is extreme, it leads to PPH, which can be life-threatening. Therefore, if you experience heavy bleeding within the first 24 hours after birth or after, it is vital to seek treatment immediately.
Postpartum Depression (PPD)
Women who experience a traumatic birth can suffer from postpartum depression (PPD) or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These are mental injuries that can affect a mother’s and a baby’s health. Though this condition is common, many mothers who experience PPD tend to feel ashamed and are unable to seek treatment. However, it is important to recognize signs of PPD and seek help and support immediately.
Some of the symptoms of PPD include:
Difficulty bonding with their baby
Feelings of guilt and isolation
Feelings of constant exhaustion and hopelessness
This is when the wall of the uterus or womb tears during pregnancy. It can be caused by the buildup of pressure as the baby moves. Uterine rupture is a serious injury and can cause bleeding, increased heart rate, pain, and blood pressure to drop. Medical professionals are required to act quickly as soon as they detect this injury to save the baby and prevent further complications.
Know When to Make a Birth Injury Claim
If you have a birth injury and you suspect that it was caused or made worse by the doctor’s or midwife’s negligence, you may be entitled to claim damages. However, such claims or lawsuits are very complicated and time-consuming. Talk to a medical malpractice attorney to know if you have a valid claim and your legal options. Your attorney will help you file the claim and handle the claim process for you.