Smith, Meier & Webb, LPA

Could induction prevent birth injuries for some babies?

For most pregnant mothers the most important thing is that their baby is delivered safely and arrives in good health. While in many cases this is exactly what happens. Unfortunately, in other situations birth injuries occur that inflict irreparable harm upon the baby. Sometimes there are steps that could have been taken to prevent the injuries from occurring.

According to a study recently conducted in Europe, one step that could potentially prevent birth injuries is inducing labor prior to the time that they are considered full term. Specifically this approach could be beneficial to mothers who are carrying babies that are unusually large.

According to the study it is possible that an early delivery--at between 37 and 38 weeks--could prevent the baby's shoulders from getting stuck during the delivery. Known as shoulder dystoca, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists reports that where oversized babies are concerned the issue arises in approximately 10 percent of births.

This approach is not without its own risks however. Generally it is advisable to wait until a baby is considered full term--at 39 weeks--before taking such action. This is because of the complications that could arise such as difficulty breathing as a result of lungs that are not fully developed. Induction is also connected to higher rates of cesarean sections which could result in other types of birth injuries.

The results of this study by no means indicate that this is definitively the way to go. The study involved only a small number of women and it was often difficult to determine the weight of the baby late in the pregnancy.

When a birth injury occurs during the course of a delivery it is possible that it could be due to negligence actions of the caregivers. When this occurs a medical malpractice lawsuit could be an option. A personal injury lawyer can help determine the best course of action to take.

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