Giving birth to a child can be a complicated process, and it is often necessary to make difficult decisions in order to protect the health of both the mother and the child. One such decision is whether to induce labor. Labor induction is a common practice, and it is sometimes the best option for ensuring a safe birth. However, it does have certain risks, and it could lead to serious birth injuries or maternal injuries. If you or your child is injured after your doctor induces labor, it is important to understand your options.
When and How Do Doctors Induce Labor?
A doctor may decide that it is necessary to induce labor when there are complications with the labor proceeding naturally. This may be the case when weeks have passed since the due date and the mother has not gone into labor, or when the mother’s water has broken but labor has not started. Labor induction may also be a good option when the mother has certain medical conditions, such as obesity, preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, placental abruption, or an infection of the uterus.
One of the most common methods of inducing labor is the administration of the drug Pitocin, which helps start contractions once the mother’s cervix is ready for childbirth. Pitocin can be safe when administered correctly, but there can be complications that harm the child or mother.
Injury Risks for the Mother
Perhaps the most serious injury risk of induced labor for a mother is a uterine rupture, or a tear in the tissue of the uterus. The risk is higher when the mother has previously had a C-section or another type of surgery on the uterus. A ruptured uterus may become infected, and it may also lead to postpartum hemorrhaging that continues to affect the mother after the child is born.
Injury Risks for the Child
The strength of the contractions induced by Pitocin can restrict oxygen flow to the fetus, resulting in a low heart rate or asphyxia. Insufficient oxygen can be extremely dangerous to a child, especially when the brain does not receive the oxygen it needs to function. This can lead to the development of a condition like cerebral palsy, or even the death of the fetus.
Contact a Chicago Birth Injury Lawyer
Inducing labor is a personal decision, and it is important to listen to the advice of your doctor. However, when a doctor errs in the administration of Pitocin or fails to closely monitor the mother and child after labor induction, it may be necessary to seek help from an Illinois birth injury attorney to hold the doctor accountable for negligence and pursue compensation for injuries to the mother and child. If you need help with a birth injury or maternal injury case, contact [[title]] today at [[phone]] and schedule a free consultation.