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Possible Home Birth Midwife Error Hospitalizes Infant And Mother

Although some Ohio mothers choose to give birth at home or in specialized birth centers, families should be aware that big risks can still exist. Birth injuries and complications can easily send mothers and newborns to the hospital after all.

One new mother recently experienced exactly this situation. The mother wanted to give birth in the comfort of her home and hired a midwife to assist with the birth. However, the birth became an unexpectedly complicated "footling breach" delivery. In a footling breach, the child is born foot-first. This was only the beginning of the family's problems, however.

For unknown reasons, the baby suffered a traumatic brain injury during the birth. More disturbingly, the midwife apparently failed to respond to swelling that indicated brain bleeding. The midwife allegedly said she thought the dangerous swelling was normal.

Despite opting for a home birth, both the mother and newborn found themselves at a hospital later that day. The mother needed a surgery to remove toxic portions of placenta that remained inside her after the birth. Medical staff confirmed the infant's brain injury and also diagnosed retinal bleeding. The midwife now faces criminal charges.

Some mothers might prefer home births due to safety concerns about unnecessary procedures. But this case is a sad reminder that birth injuries can just as easily occur at home, whether due to complications, professional error, or a combination of both.

Source: Albuquerque Journal, "Midwife Faces Felony Child Abuse Charge," Olivier Uyttebrouck, Sept. 11, 2012 

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