Pregnancy is an exciting time but also an anxious time. You may be excited to welcome your new precious child to the world, but you also want to make sure your baby is healthy and safe. Many deliveries go very smoothly but sadly, there are cases of birth injury every year. Sometimes there is nothing you could have done to prevent an injury, but these are some steps you can take to reduce that risk.
1. Research obstetricians and health clinics before choosing them.
It’s advisable to avoid choosing a doctor or health clinic without first researching their background and experience. Make sure they have expert knowledge in the area and can provide excellent care as you prepare over the next nine months to give birth. Choosing a skilled obstetrician with proven results and a clinic with trusted recommendations is important to help make sure you and your little one are in good hands.
2. Avoid foods and substances that can harm your baby.
Alcohol and tobacco should be completely avoided while pregnant. Even small amounts can cause defects in the baby that could create lasting damage or developmental problems. There are also certain foods you should avoid. Ask your obstetrician about other foods that can be harmful.
Any drugs, even over-the-counter medication, could be harmful. Always ask your obstetrician before taking any medication. If you were taking prescription drugs before pregnancy, ask if it is safe to continue doing so and what your options are.
3. Take folic acid supplements.
Many diets do not include enough folic acid, but folic acid can greatly reduce the chance of birth defects. Consider supplements throughout your pregnancy to help keep your baby healthy.
4. Contact your doctor if you become ill.
Nausea and morning sickness are fairly common during pregnancy. But if you become ill with something such as a cold or the flu, contact your doctor. Illnesses might affect your baby as well, and it is best to seek medical advice on whether you need to be concerned and what you should do.
5. Get regular check-ups and ask a lot of questions.
You should have check-ups scheduled at regular intervals during your pregnancy. While you are at a check-up, do not be shy about asking questions. If the doctor says anything that you don’t understand, ask them to clarify. If you have any concerns or have noticed changes in how you feel or the baby’s behavior, tell your doctor. Open communication is important for regulating everything that is going on during your pregnancy – and possibly noticing and addressing problems early if they exist.
Unfortunately, even if you take great care to reduce the risk of birth injury to your child, it isn’t always something you have the power to prevent. Injuries can happen due to a doctor’s negligence or a mistake during childbirth. If you believe your newborn suffered an injury that could have been avoided – such as misuse of forceps or an issue that the doctor should have noticed – consulting with a medical malpractice attorney can help you learn about your options for restitution.