When babies suffer from birth injuries, their mothers are also affected.
While the potential effects vary widely, some of the most common side
effects that mothers experience when their children are injured at birth
include the following.

Financial Issues

When babies have
birth injuries, they often need medical treatment, which can include diagnostic testing,
surgery, and physical or occupational therapy. Children with birth injuries
leading to physical or cognitive delays may need expensive therapies throughout
their entire lives. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control indicate
that the lifetime medical costs of Cerebral Palsy are close to $1 million.

Mothers have to absorb a lot of medical expenses related to their children’s
birth injuries, but they also have to worry about the long term financial
effects on their child, especially if their child is unable to work.

Parental Challenges

Often, children who have suffered birth injuries have emotional or cognitive
disorders that persist for years. In addition to being expensive, these
issues can make parenting challenging. In this situation, mothers may
not have the same parenting experience they would have had if their child
hadn’t suffered a birth injury.

Emotional Complications

Additionally, mothers often internalize trauma to their infants. They feel
like they should have prevented the injury, and although the situation
was out of their control, they become wracked with guilt. This often leads
to depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder. Mothers may
need expensive therapy or medication for these issues, and beyond that,
they may not be able to work or complete daily tasks.

Psychological Birth Trauma

In many cases, when babies suffer birth injuries, their mothers report
psychological birth trauma (PBT). According to some studies, PBT occurs in
20-30% of births, including in situations where the infant or mother is injured
but also when the birth is emotionally traumatic for other reasons.

When women suffer from PBT, they often have difficulty bonding with their
babies, and they tend to develop either overprotective, anxious bonds
or rejecting type bonds. Their lactation periods also tend to be shorter.
In some cases, women even develop a fear of childbirth.

Psychological trauma also tends to hurt family relationships. In particular,
many women report avoiding intimacy with their husbands.

Maternal Injuries

Sometimes, birth injuries affect the mother physically. Mothers may face
any of the following issues:

  • Bruises
  • Lacerations
  • Uterine bleeding
  • Vaginal tears
  • Broken bones
  • Infections
  • Other physical injuries
  • Preeclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy)
  • Eclampsia (the onset of seizures in a woman who has pre-eclampsia)

Birth injuries are extremely common among women. In fact, according to
one study,
50-80% of women tear their pelvic skin or muscles during delivery, and 10% of
those women suffer from urinary or fecal incontinence. One-third of all
mothers encounter pelvic floor disorders in delivery, and 10% of these
women need surgery.

Although the high numbers suggest that these issues are common and unavoidable,
these side effects are often related to
medical malpractice. That includes failure to tell mothers about the risks of cesarean sections
or other procedures, allowing mothers to schedule elective cesarean sections
before 37 weeks, and failure to identify potential complications before
the mother goes into labor. Additionally, many maternal birth injuries
are related to the misuse of tools such as vacuums or forceps during the delivery.

Approximately, 1 in 4,000 women die in childbirth, and in the United States,
this number has risen significantly over the last 25 years. At the same
time, maternal mortality rates have fallen in the rest of the world, making
the United States, the most dangerous place to give birth in the industrialized world.

Birth injuries don’t just affect infants. They also affect mothers,
fathers, and the rest of the infant’s family. If your child has
suffered from a birth injury,
contact us at The Mellino Law Firm today. When you call (440) 333-3800, we can
give you a no-cost consultation to help you decide which steps to take next.