It is devastating for the parents of a newborn to even think about any pain caused to their baby, let alone a birth injury. However, the circumstances are not in their hands, and finding out about their baby’s birth injury becomes a reality. The trauma and agony of getting such news are so severe that parents lose their ability to think straight. They may start blaming themselves and question their abilities to keep their child safe. But in their distress, they fail to understand that birth injury is not caused by something they did during the pregnancy.
Some causes of birth injury include the baby’s large head, oxygen deprivation, the position of the baby, complicated and prolonged labor, etc. All these situations are beyond parents’ control. In reality, birth injury actually occurs due to the negligence of the obstetric care staff.
Though predominantly not in your control, there are ways to reduce your child’s risk of a birth injury. Read on below to know how you can do so. But before that, spare some time to know the legal help you can get after discovering your child’s birth injury.
Legal help available for the victims of a birth injury
The child’s parents are not responsible for the birth injury — they can only take precautions and be more vigilant during the pregnancy. Therefore, the law provides them all the legal support to hold the culprits of their baby’s birth injury responsible.
Every year under 30,000 kids are diagnosed with some form of birth injury. Parents can get justice for their baby if they prove that the medical team’s negligence caused the injury. They can file a birth injury lawsuit —a part of medical malpractice—to demand compensation from on-duty doctors, nurses, and midwives.
The compensation demanded with birth injury lawsuits helps parents pay for their child’s medical bills. The compensation amount also factors in the extended treatment that the child will need over time and the child’s inability to earn in the future.
No amount of compensation can bring your child’s normal life and happiness back. Therefore, all parents want their children to be born healthy and with no disability. Controlling the causes of a birth injury is not in your hands, but you can still do everything in your power to avert the risk. Here are the precautionary measures you must take.
Don’t smoke or drink during pregnancy
Smoking and drinking during pregnancy can impact the growth and size of your baby. Babies born to parents who drink and smoke are smaller in size, which increases the risk of a birth injury. Smaller babies are less robust than normal size babies. Hence, their size and strength make them more susceptible to experiencing birth injury as they cannot withstand the stress of the labor.
Take enough folic acid supplement
Folic acid is indispensable for the proper development of the fetus. But unfortunately, it is not present in many diets in the required quantities. Women who fail to take enough folic acid supplements during pregnancy are more likely to develop neural tube defects. These birth injuries are related to the spinal cord, spine, and brain and may lead to death as well. These defects may occur in the first month or even before the mother is aware of the pregnancy. Therefore, mothers should start taking folic acid supplements prior to conceiving the baby and during the pregnancy (especially during the first trimester). The continuous dose will ensure adequate development of the fetus.
Attend all the prenatal appointments
Prenatal appointments are essential as they allow the doctor to monitor the mother’s condition periodically. Doctors can prescribe changes in the medication, ask for critical tests if they anticipate any deficiency, and watch the baby’s development.
During this time, the caregiver will catch the signs of conditions like gestational diabetes and preeclampsia— conditions that can seriously harm your baby’s health and development. Looking at your condition, the doctor can recommend C-section or wait for a vaginal canal delivery.
Go for an experienced and reliable obstetrician
Choosing a doctor you will consult during pregnancy and childbirth is an important decision. The decision can impact the life of the mother and the child. Since it is the negligence of the doctor and their staff that leads to birth injuries in your child in most cases, therefore, you have no room to make a wrong decision.
You can get a recommendation from your friends and relatives when selecting an obstetrician. But what about people who are new to an area? How can they trust a doctor for the safety and life of their child? If you have no clue how to find the right doctor, capitalize on the following criteria:
Know about the qualification of the doctor and the years of experience they have in successfully handling childbirth.
Look for their online website—if they have any—or check other sites that provide reviews about doctors and their services.
If the mother faces specific issues such as weight loss, diabetes, or comes with a prior medical history, it is wise to consult a specialist in that field too.
Get enough sleep
Sleep is important for the pregnant mother. Being well-rested is good for the baby, and it can avoid many problems related to childbirth. A growing body of research establishes that sleep improves the immunity of the mother increases, and the baby receives the nutrients more effectively.
Get a healthy and balanced diet
Diet is one of those things that you can never go wrong about during pregnancy. The intake of healthy food and required supplements are suitable for the baby’s growth. Foods rich in calcium and protein are most recommended. Simultaneously, a pregnant woman must not consume fish, particularly one with high mercury content in it.
Taking health supplements can also greatly help since they supply your body with added vitamins and minerals that you would otherwise not be getting from your diet. Some supplements are specially formulated for women, so it’s safe to take even when she is pregnant or breastfeeding. Some supplements like probiotics for women target specific health concerns, which help promote better digestion, a balanced vaginal pH level, or urinary tract health. But nothing beats being active and keeping a diet that’s already rich in nutrients.
Always monitor your weight during the pregnancy
Having the right weight can be one of the quantitative ways to ensure that you have a healthy baby. However, maintaining your weight does not mean gobbling down the food of two people. Gaining 25 to 35 pounds weight is beneficial during pregnancy, enough to support the development of the mother and the child. But consulting your weight requirements with your doctor is highly recommended as each woman’s weight requirement may vary.
Parents do everything to ensure that no harm occurs to their children during the pregnancy. Attending doctors’ appointments, taking rest and healthy diet, etc., is part of reducing the risk of birth injury. But if your doctor fails to detect your condition during your appointments, fails to prescribe the right supplement, or notices the urgency for a C-section, things no longer stay in your hand. Ultimately, you might face your child’s birth injury. For such situations, you have the birth injury lawsuit to bring the culprits under law and demand justice for your child.