Many pregnancies happen without any complications. However, some pregnant women will experience complications that will affect their health, their baby’s health, or both. Sometimes, a mother might have a disease or condition before she became pregnant that can lead to complications during pregnancy. Other complications can occur during delivery.
A birth complication is anything that goes wrong or is abnormal during the birthing process. The more birth complications occur, and the more severe that they are, the greater the chances are that a child will end up with health problems that can impact them for life.
Some birth complications can be entirely preventable, though, and could have been caused by medical negligence.
What is a birth complication?
A complication of birth is any issue that is a risk to the health of the mother or the baby and that happens during birth. There are also complications of pregnancy, which are health issues that occur in the pregnant woman or in the developing fetus before labour starts.
Birth complications occur during labour and the delivery of the baby, and they can have serious consequences for both the mother and infant.
If you already have a chronic condition or illness, you should speak with your doctor about how you can minimize the chances of any complications before you become pregnant. If you are already pregnant, then your doctor might need to monitor your pregnancy closely.
Examples of common diseases and conditions that can cause complications during pregnancy include:
- Kidney problems;
- High blood pressure;
- Sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV; or
Other factors that can increase your risk of birth complications include:
- Being pregnant at the age of 35 or older;
- Being pregnant at a young age;
- Smoking cigarettes;
- Having an eating disorder like anorexia;
- Using illegal drugs;
- Drinking alcohol;
- Having a history of pregnancy loss or preterm birth; or
- Carrying multiples, such as twins or triplets.
The Most Common Labour Complications
Normal symptoms of pregnancy and the symptoms due to complications can be hard to identify. Here are the most common complications that women experience during their pregnancy:
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure occurs when the arteries that carry blood to your body and placenta are narrowed. High blood pressure is associated with a higher risk of other types of complications, like preeclampsia. This puts you at risk of having a baby before your due date (known as a preterm delivery). It also increases your risks of having a baby who is underweight. It’s important to keep your blood pressure under control with medications during your pregnancy.
Preterm labour happens when you go into labour before week 37 of your pregnancy. During this time, your baby has not yet fully developed organs such as the brain. Certain medications are available to help stop labour, and doctors will recommend bed rest to avoid the baby being born too early.
A miscarriage is the loss of a pregnancy that happens during the first 20 weeks. Up to 20% of pregnancies among healthy women will end in a miscarriage, according to the American Pregnancy Association (APA). In some cases, a miscarriage is not preventable, and in others, a miscarriage occurs before a woman is even aware of the pregnancy.
Losing a pregnancy after 20 weeks is called a stillbirth. In many cases, the cause for this happening is unknown. Some issues that have been known to cause stillbirth include:
- Problems with the placenta;
- Chronic health issues with the mother; or
Anemia refers to a lower-than-normal number of red blood cells in your body. If you have anemia, you can start to feel more tired and weak than normal. You might also have pale skin. Anemia is caused by many reasons, and your doctor will need to find and treat the underlying cause. During pregnancy, taking iron and folic acid supplements while pregnant can help since most cases of anemia will occur due to a deficiency.
If there is a problem during labour, then your doctor might need to change the way they will proceed with the delivery.
A baby will be considered in a breech position when their feet are positioned to be delivered before the head. This occurs in about 4 percent of full-term births. Many babies born in this position are healthy.
Your doctor will advise against vaginal birth if your baby starts to show signs of distress or is too big to pass safely through the birth canal. If your doctor finds out your baby is in a breech position a few weeks before your delivery, they can try to change the position of the baby. If the baby is still in the breech position once labour begins, many doctors will recommend getting a C-section.
Placenta previa refers to situations where the placenta is covering the cervix. Doctors will typically perform a C-section delivery if this is the case.
Low Birth Weight
Low birth weight typically occurs due to poor nutrition or if the mother uses cigarettes, alcohol, or drugs during the pregnancy. Babies who are born with a low birth weight have a higher risk of respiratory infections, learning disabilities, heart infections, or blindness. The baby might also need to stay in the hospital for a few months after they are born.
If you or a loved one believe that your doctor or obstetrician committed medical malpractice that led to a birth injury, then call Sommers Roth & Elmaleh today to get in contact with a birth injury lawyer. You could be entitled to compensation. Call Sommers Roth & Elmaleh at 416-961-1212 or contact us to book a consultation online.
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