A birth injury can occur when a baby is harmed before, during, or immediately after the delivery process. When a baby sustains a birth injury, it can lead to devastating, life-long problems such as cerebral palsy, seizure disorders, facial paralysis, spinal cord injuries, and more. While birth injuries cannot be prevented entirely, the following are some ways to reduce the risk of a birth injury.
The mother’s health is also vital to the health of the baby, and specific prenatal tests can be done to learn if any maternal conditions could affect the baby. Prenatal tests may be done to determine if the following common maternal conditions could be a risk factor and cause a birth injury during the pregnancy:
- Gestational diabetes
- Oligohydramnios (too little amniotic fluid)
- Polyhydramnios (too much amniotic fluid)
Prenatal tests can also help determine these common fetal problems:
- Intrauterine growth restriction (baby isn’t growing properly)
- Breech positions
- Umbilical cord issues
- Heart rate abnormalities
When the above issues are detected early and given proper medical treatments, it’s possible to avoid a birth injury.
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Monitoring for Fetal Distress
During pregnancy and the delivery process, doctors should monitor both mother and baby for signs of fetal distress that could point to oxygen deprivation. Some warning signs of fetal distress may include:
- A decrease in fetal movement
- Baby has a slow heart rate
- A low or high volume of amniotic fluid
- Mother is experiencing vaginal bleeding
- Mother is experiencing cramping
- Mother has too much or not enough weight gain during pregnancy
- Doppler ultrasounds have detected abnormal blood flow
Addressing the Risks of Premature Birth
A baby born before 37 weeks of gestation is considered to be premature. Premature babies are at higher risk of having medical problems due to weak immune systems, underdeveloped organs, and low birth weight. Premature birth may be prevented through the following procedures:
- Cervical cerclage is a procedure that keeps the cervix closed by a temporary stitch until it’s time for the baby to be born.
- Progesterone hormone treatments can help stop contractions from happening, thus limiting the risk of going into labor prematurely.
- Magnesium sulfate is a drug that is given intravenously to slow contractions and halt preterm labor.
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When You Need a Birth Injury Lawyer
While most babies are born healthy and without birth injuries, some risk factors could result in long-term, devastating effects. Our experienced birth injury lawyers are here to help if your baby has sustained a birth injury that could have been prevented. The law team at Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi, PLC has been helping victims of medical malpractice in the Memphis Tri-State area since 1970.
We are here for you. Our phones are answered 24 hours a day. Contact us today at (901) 526-2126.