Overview:  Injuries to Mothers During Labor

While infants can suffer from birth injuries during labor, mothers can also experience injuries during childbirth.  In some cases, such injuries are mild to moderate and only take a few weeks to heal.  In other cases, however, such complications can be severe and lead to life-long problems such as the inability to have more children.  While injuries to mothers are most likely to occur during Cesarean sections, they can also take place during traditional vaginal deliveries.

What are the Risks of Cesarean Deliveries?

A Cesarean section (C-section) is a major type of surgery in which a doctor makes an incision in a woman’s uterus to deliver a baby.  Sometimes, emergency C-sections are performed when a fetus is showing signs of distress.  C-sections are relatively safe, and only two out of 100,000 maternal deaths result from the procedure.  However, while mothers who had a C-section take up to six weeks to recover and heal, mothers who had traditional vaginal deliveries only take two weeks to fully recover.

C-sections are not without risks.  Because a C-section is a major medical operation, mothers are at an increased risk of developing infections on or around the incision site.  In addition, C-sections can lead to severe blood loss or blood clots in the legs and lungs.  Finally, C-sections can result in injuries to internal organs, such as the bladder or intestines.  In some cases, mothers may develop Ogilvie’s Syndrome, a form of bowel obstruction.  Left untreated, the syndrome can lead to a perforated bowel, which can cause a serious blood infection known as sepsis.

Women who have C-sections may also experience complications during another pregnancy.  In some cases, the uterine scare from the C-section may tear or break during pregnancy or labor, which is known as a uterine rupture.  In other cases, the placenta may grow deep into the uterine walls.  Such a condition can lead to severe bleeding after childbirth which may require a hysterectomy, preventing the mother from having any more children.

What Types of Maternal Injuries Occur During Vaginal Childbirths?

The most common type of injury that occurs during vaginal childbirth is vaginal tearing.  In mild to moderate cases, the mother may require a few stitches and usually heals within a few weeks.  However, in serious cases, the mother may experience tearing of the perineal muscles, the anal sphincter and the tissue lining the rectum.  Such tearing requires surgery to repair and takes months to heal.  Mothers with severe vaginal tearing usually suffer from fecal incontinence and pain during intercourse.

Can Mothers Suffer from Psychological Trauma during Difficult Childbirths?

Yes.  While pain during routine childbirths is normal, complicated and prolonged deliveries that result in an injured infant can cause a mother to suffer psychological and emotional pain.

How Law Offices of Thomas L. Gallivan, PLLC Can Help

If you suffered any injuries during childbirth, Law Offices of Thomas L. Gallivan, PLLC may be able to help.  We will thoroughly investigate your claim to determine if you were the victim of medical malpractice.  We will then seek to recover compensation from those responsible.

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