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Can a Birthing Position Cause Injury to a Baby?

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on October 12, 2018

Giving birth is no easy feat. It’s supposed to be natural, but with our medical advancements and hospital technology, we’ve come a long way from women doing what Mother Nature intended. Mostly, that is a fact that should be celebrated. Complications that might have been deadly in the past can now be caught early and handled with relative ease, saving both mother and baby. At the same time, advancement can sometimes complicate the things that should be simple and straightforward, like a woman’s natural physical response to labor.

A hospital setting is not exactly a natural state for childbirth. Doctors are used to dealing with sick people, and can approach a pregnancy in a similar way they would approach an illness. Hospitals also have many rules and regulations regarding what a woman can and cannot do.

Previously, women might have been able to walk around, get into different positions (like squatting), and do what felt most comfortable and what their bodies told them to do. Nowadays, doctors and nurses try to control the birthing experience from start to finish in the most clinical way possible. Let’s not forget, hospitals are businesses, and doing things the natural way isn’t as profitable as doing them fast. Hospitals want the birth to progress in a certain amount of time, and if that’s not happening, out comes medical intervention to speed up the labor. While that is good for the hospital’s turnaround time, is it always in the best interests of the mother and the baby?

The answer is no.

There are countless of stories from women whose natural birth instincts were silenced in the hospital and who suffered long-lasting injuries because of nurses and doctors who refused to listen to them. If your medical team injured you or your child during labor, that is medical malpractice and you should consider filing a lawsuit. That’s just what Caroline Malatesta did after nurses forced her onto her back and held her baby in until the doctor arrived, causing her permanent physical injury and PTSD. The jury sided with Caroline and awarded her $16 million in damages.

Birth Position Complications

Birthing positions have always been a complicated and highly debated issue. Research suggests that the supine position so frequently utilized in hospitals (lying horizontally with face and torso up) and being restricted on pushing while giving birth is the most unnatural and dangerous position for the mother and the baby. However, it is the most frequently utilized position due to the fact that it’s the easiest one for the doctor to be able to monitor everything and have access to the baby.

Here are some of the most common problems with giving birth while laying on your back:

  • While on your back, gravity does not work in your favor. Standing, kneeling, and squatting can help increase the size of the pelvis, which helps the baby exit easier, while lying on your back reduces it by a significant percent.
  • The directed pushing approach causes stress to the mother and her cardiovascular system, and has been proven not to work as well as a natural progression.
  • Loss of control. Being on your back while heavily pregnant does not allow you to move around or get up easily.
  • Being on your back makes for a more painful and longer labor. Why add more pain to an experience that’s already painful enough? Because the body works so much harder getting the baby out on your back, the process ends up taking a longer time.

If Your Baby Suffered Injury During Labor, Call Us

The experience of giving birth should be a special one, to be cherished and remembered as a natural miracle. But having your baby sustain an injury while in labor can alter your life forever. Knowing that something that should have been a natural and instinctive experience was destroyed by the very medical professionals who were supposed to help you can be a lot to grapple with.

If your child was injured during labor, contact the Seattle childbirth injury lawyers at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. This is not an experience you should be going through alone. We have extensive knowledge of obstetrics, which enables our lawyers to recover the maximum possible compensation for your baby’s suffering. Sometimes, a birth injury means life-long medical care, the costs of which can be crushing. For more information about how our attorneys can be of assistance to you, please call (888) 228-3860 for a free case evaluation.

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