Every parent knows that having and raising children can be an expensive proposition. Now that summer vacations and camps are coming to an end the back to school supplies are weighing on family budgets. Soon fall sports and other school activities will get rolling.
Labor and childbirth contain many risks for both the mother and the newborn infant. Doctors are trained to help mitigate these risks to the greatest degree possible. They have an ever expanding wealth of tools and techniques designed to ensure a healthy result. Unfortunately, when these techniques are misused or not used when they should be there can be devastating consequences.
When a doctor realizes that a fetus in distress during childbirth, time is of the essence. Depriving oxygen to the brain during this crucial period can result in catastrophic consequences. In many cases these consequences can be avoided by performing a c-section in a timely manner.
Many parents have strong values regarding childbirth, from not wanting anesthesia to foregoing potentially harmful vaccinations. Patients have a right to dictate their medical care in this regard. To that effect, they should make their wishes known in writing well before the potential delivery. If a doctor acts against the wishes of a patient, then the patient may have a claim for medical malpractice.
We have been told for years that the more premature the baby, the greater the risk he or she will have long-term health problems. Those babies that are born at less than 2.2 pounds, or "extremely low-birth-weight" babies, used to have a low survival rate. As medical knowledge has grown, however, about 80 percent of those extremely low-birth-weight babies will survive. In a new study out of Ohio, a doctor has discovered that they will not acquire new long-term illnesses when they become teenagers.
During the last few weeks of pregnancy, doctors sometimes use ultrasounds to attempt to determine the likely birth weight of the baby. In some cases, the doctors determine that the fetus may be considerably larger than expected. This is a condition known as macrosomia. When this is suspected, doctors are much more likely to recommend c-section deliveries or other interventions which may expose the mother and the infant to increased risk of injury or death.
As we have discussed in earlier posts, there is a growing trend toward deliberately delivering infants before they are full term. Now, the March of Dimes has instituted a new campaign to help educate doctors and mothers about the risks of inducing labor prior to 39 weeks.
During every birth, it is critically important that the doctors and medical staff are well trained and deliver the best possible standard of care. This will help ensure the likelihood of a healthy outcome for both the mother and the newborn infant. The training and procedures used by doctors during a premature birth are even more crucial.
New research indicates that in the last 12 years the rate of strokes among pregnant women and those who have just given birth has risen by more than 50 percent. Generally when woman give birth they are not in the older age group that most people commonly associate with strokes.