The process of inducing labor involves utilizing medical devices or medicines to both get the cervix ready for labor and get the uterus to start contracting early on its own. If it is done correctly, inducing labor can save people’s lives. Unfortunately, some medical professionals are careless in their decision-making regarding inducing birth. Because of this, both the mother and the child are in danger.
According to research made available through the National Partnership for Women & Families (NPWF), up to 50% of all birth injuries that can occur to moms and newborns can be prevented with adequate preparation and improved medical attention.
Birth Injuries and Labor Induction
And a woman’s medical team or doctors could be held liable for those injuries if they fail to prevent problems during labor and delivery from harming the health of the mother or the infant. To head off any more issues, a doctor could plan an induction of labor and schedule it at a specific time.
The National Perinatal Weight Gain Foundation (NPWF) has identified three different scenarios that may occur after a woman’s pregnancy in which the woman or her newborn may benefit from inducing labor:
- Membrane rupture before delivery (also known as ruptured water) after 37 weeks of pregnancy
- A pregnancy that has already been ongoing for longer than 41 weeks
- High blood pressure during the third trimester
However, inducing labor poses additional dangers for the mother and the baby, especially when it is not medically required. It can lead to a birth injury that cannot be reversed.
Approximately twenty-five percent of women may start the induction process with an underripe cervix and may require an emergency cesarean section if labor does not progress.
Low Heart Rate
Reduced Heart Rate Oxytocin and other prostaglandins, used to induce labor, can create aberrant or excessive contractions, which in turn can reduce the amount of oxygen that reaches the baby and result in a reduced heart rate.
Some ways of inducing labor, such as rupturing the mother’s membranes, may put the mother and child at greater risk of infection.
Uterine rupture is a dangerous complication when a woman’s uterus ruptures at the scar line left by a previous cesarean section or other severe uterine surgery. It has become necessary to perform an emergency cesarean section to eliminate the possibility of life-threatening complications and save the uterus from removal.
Inducing labor increases the likelihood that a mother’s uterine muscles won’t fully contract after giving birth (a condition known as uterine atony), which can result in significant bleeding after delivery.
Additionally, the admission rates of newborns to neonatal intensive care units are greater if labor induction is present compared to mothers who experience labor naturally.
Labor-Inducing Drugs Might Cause Stress and Have Negative Side Effects
Inducing labor frequently requires certain medications, such as oxytocin (Pitocin), which is given through an IV drip, and specific treatments, such as manually breaking a woman’s waters. Unfortunately, both may bring potentially significant side effects for the mother, the infant, or both. [T]he mother and the infant may be affected. The mother can suffer from feelings of sickness, vomiting, or intense and agonizing contractions.
There is a possibility that the infant will experience convulsions, a slow pulse, blood in the eye, or an irregular heartbeat. A baby can be born very quickly, resulting in bruises and vaginal tears because the infant is driven through the delivery canal against its instincts.
During this moment, the infant runs the risk of not receiving enough oxygen, which can lead to traumatic brain injury, including the likelihood of cerebral palsy. You can then file a birth injury case to an attorney like birthinjurylawyer.com for the progression of your case.
Contact birth injury attorneys and ask them to assist you in evaluating your legal alternatives. Effective birth injury cases address mistakes relating to induction and OBGYN malpractice.
About the author:
As a journalist, Leland D. Bengtson dedicated most of his career to law reporting. His greatest satisfaction is to convey legal matters to the public in a language that they can understand. He is active on various platforms and media outlets, writing about common legal issues that people confront with every day. While medical malpractice is his strong suit, Leland covers plenty of other topics, including personal injury cases, family law, and other civil and even criminal legal matters.