Pregnancy Problems: Complications, Side Effects, and Medical Malpractice
For many women, pregnancy and childbirth is a wonderful experience, filled with love, joy and excited anticipation as they welcome a new member into their family. For others, pregnancy and childbirth can be downright hellish, filled with debilitating side effects, life-threatening health conditions, or birth complications. When parents are expecting, these health issues add unnecessary stress during an already emotional and complex time. The improper or negligent actions of medical professionals only make the situation more dangerous.
During pregnancy, mild struggles such as weight gain, intense cravings, and emotional changes are to be expected. But due to the strain of carrying and birthing a child, many mothers encounter health problems beyond the typical pregnancy side effects. During pregnancy, complications can include:
- Urinary tract infections (UTI)
- Susceptibility to common infections
- Gestational diabetes mellitus
- Hyperemesis gravidarum, a severe form of morning sickness
During childbirth itself, there are also many complications that can emerge. These include hemorrhaging, preeclampsia, vaginal tearing, or injuries to the mother or baby resulting from a traumatic birth. After childbirth, mothers may experience issues with blood pressure or bleeding, or may develop a mental health issue, like postpartum depression.
According to the World Health Organization, around 830 women die every day from pregnancy related complications such as these. The vast majority of these deaths occur outside the United States in developing, low-resources countries. However, the United States is the unfortunate leader of maternity deaths among developed countries. Around 700 women die every year. 65,000 experience life-threatening complications during pregnancy or childbirth.
When Medical Malpractice Plays a Role
When women die from pregnancy-related complications, their deaths are usually preventable, and are occasionally the result of a doctor’s negligence or failure to diagnose. During pregnancy and childbirth, much of the focus is on the wellbeing of the baby. This means that a woman’s complaints or warning signs might be overlooked or ignored. Other times, a mother’s injuries might result from a doctor’s actions during childbirth, such as excessive force or improper use of birthing equipment.
Pregnancy and childbirth is an exciting time, but it also frequently puts mothers in dangerous, stressful situations. When a doctor, nurse, midwife, or other medical professional violates their duty of care, it can cause serious complications for both the baby and mother, and might even lead to death. No matter the cause, complications are the last thing a new or expecting mother needs, and doctors should treat both mothers and their babies with dignity and respect.
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