One of the most exciting times in a couple’s life is when they are expecting a baby. Once they learn a baby is on the way and get that due date, all the anticipation and planning begins. That due date is not only important for making preparations for the baby’s arrival, but it is also critical to ensure the progression of the pregnancy is properly monitored and mother and baby are receiving the appropriate prenatal care. And while it is rare that a woman delivers the baby on the actual due date – typically delivery occurs a few days before or after – when there has been a significant miscalculation of the due date, both the baby and the mother’s health can be put at significant risk. An Illinois malpractice attorney can help families who have suffered injuries and losses in these types of cases.
How Is the Due Date Calculated?
Once a doctor has confirmed a woman is pregnant, they will calculate her due date. The first step is determining the first day of the mother’s last menstrual period, counting back three calendar months from that date, and then adding one year and seven days. This will be the estimated due date – which is actually 280 days, beginning with the first day of the mother’s last period.
The other way the due date will be calculated is by ultrasound, a little further into the first trimester. An ultrasound can help determine the baby’s gender, size, and weight, and also help calculate the baby’s due date.
What Are the Risks of an Incorrect Due Date?
There are a number of serious issues that can arise if the doctor has calculated the due date incorrectly. For example, there are a number of prenatal tests and screenings that need to be done within specific windows of the baby’s gestational age in order to obtain accurate results. If the due date is wrong, it can lead to misinterpretation of test results or missed opportunities for critical screenings.
If the incorrect due date misses the actual 40-week mark and the baby needs to be delivered, the placenta may begin to stop working, leaving the baby without the vital oxygen and nutrients needed to thrive and survive. After 40 weeks, infants are at a higher risk of dying in the womb.
Another danger of leaving the baby inside the womb longer than 40 weeks is the high risk of infection to both the mother and baby. The risk spikes even to a more dangerous level if amniotic fluid is leaking.
Labor and delivery in a pregnancy that has gone beyond the 40-week gestation period can also be perilous, leading to emergency C-sections and potentially fatal injuries for both mother and baby. Stillbirths are also at a higher risk for pregnancies that have gone a few weeks past the due date.
Contact an Arlington Heights Personal Injury Lawyer
If you or your baby suffered injuries due to the negligence of your medical provider, you need a Rolling Meadows, IL birth injury attorney advocating for you. Call [[title] at [[phone]] to schedule a free consultation and find out what type of legal recourse your family may have.