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Leeseberg & Valentine

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Unnecessary interventions during birth can increase risk

Physicians largely receive training on the treatment of diseases, which may explain why they sometimes struggle in their approach to childbirth. In most cases, childbirth is a natural process that progresses in its own manner depending on factors ranging from how tired the mother is to how many children she has had before.

Unfortunately, there are physicians who will attempt to intervene in the process of labor and delivery without any concrete reason to do so. The medical decisions they make can have lasting consequences for their patients.

Interventions tend to necessitate more interventions

When doctors order certain care or behavior on the part of the patient, they intervene in the birth process. Arguably, the most common intervention is having a patient lay down on a hospital bed during the labor process. However, laying down does not facilitate the birth process.

Generations of women have given birth either seated on a special chair or walking and squatting with the support of midwives and other women. Resting on one’s back removes the assistance of gravity from the birth equation and forces the mother to do much more active work.

A mother restrained to a bed may find that her labor does not progress, which may result in her physician then administering medication to speed up her contractions or deciding to perform a cesarean section in some cases. When medical professionals begin intervening in a birth, the chances are good they will need to continue doing so.

Many interventions carry the risk of causing harm to a child or mother

There was a time when doctors sedated women for birth. That attitude has changed, and more medical professionals now recognize the risk of unnecessary interventions, as well as the risk of improper or inadequate monitoring of the mother and child.

Careful monitoring can ensure that doctors take action if the infant winds up in distress or the mother begins to hemorrhage. However, anything from an episiotomy, which is where the doctor cuts the woman internally to facilitate birth without tearing, to the use of forceps can cause damage to both the mother and the child.

Risk of infection, nerve damage and even death can result from unnecessary or improperly performed interventions. Whether your doctor administered a medication that you didn’t need or used forceps or a vacuum to assist in birth and left your child with an injury, unnecessary or poorly performed interventions may provide the grounds for a patient to initiate a medical malpractice claim against the physician involved in their birth.

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