For most people, the birth of a child is one of the most important events in their lives, whether they live in Hawaii or Maryland. A new addition to a family is generally a cause for celebration, especially when the delivery has been especially long or hard. In fact, giving birth is not an easy task for most mothers. Beyond the often excruciating pain, a mother might be concerned that her baby will suffer a birth injury.
New research has shown that the fear is not unfounded. Being overweight or obese can both lead to problems for a new baby, including hypertension and diabetes. In addition, the chances of miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth and cesarean delivery all increase when the mother is not at a height-appropriate weight. Babies of overweight women are also prone to congenital diseases. Unfortunately, because of potential complications, some health-care providers are staying away from obese mothers.
Obstetricians should choose instead to help overweight pregnant women assess their conditions and find ways to help these women lose weight before their due date. Doing so might reduce the risk of birth injuries. Delivery of their babies should be done carefully because they have a greater chance of suffering shoulder dystocia because of their size.
If a baby is born with a birth injury, the health-care provider can be held liable through a medical malpractice lawsuit if negligence is shown to have been a contributing factor. Parents whose children were born with birth injuries should be alert to the fact that long-term care for a birth-injured child can be incredibly costly and that a lawsuit might enable them to seek damages from the negligent party that could cover the costs of such extended medical care.