Pregnancy is a very dangerous time for a woman, and her risk levels will typically surge upward during the labor and delivery process. So many different things can go wrong during labor and delivery, from the infant going into distress due to a lack of oxygen to the mother losing dangerous amounts of blood.
Even though people tend to trust the birth professionals they’ve selected, medical professionals can and do make mistakes that can have devastating consequences for the mother or her unborn child.
Women tend to have intense chemical and emotional responses to labor and therefore don’t always think as logically as they usually would. Therefore, expectant women or their birth partners need to be ready to advocate for the best and most appropriate treatment options during the labor process.
Mothers usually know when something isn’t right
There have been countless cases of women not receiving appropriate care during labor or receiving inappropriate and unnecessary interventions that do more harm than good. For example, there was a tragic case in Atlanta recently in which health professionals became too rough while attempting to facilitate a woman’s birth, and the result of their conduct was that the infant died in a very traumatizing and preventable manner. Even women who know their bodies well and are comfortable speaking up for themselves, like Serena Williams, can have medical professionals overlook their self-reported symptoms until their lives are in danger.
Have a birth plan and be ready to push back
Women or their birth partners can refuse certain interventions or question a doctor’s approach to care. A birth plan is often a wish list, and expectant mothers need to accept that the labor process frequently does not unfold the way they would like. Women often have to make major adjustments to their birth plans to allow for interventions that will save them or their child from severe medical consequences. However, doctors should provide reasonable information about why interventions are necessary and the risks possible. Those who have the right support and knowledge may potentially reduce the likelihood of something going incredibly wrong during labor and delivery.
When things do turn tragic and families lose a loved one or have to accommodate lifelong injuries, it may be possible to hold a negligent physician and/or facility accountable. Filing a medical malpractice lawsuit can lead to financial compensation for affected individuals and also consequences for those responsible for a tragic birth outcome.