Giving birth can be a scary experience. It is not unusual for both new and experienced California mothers to feel afraid when the day they have been waiting nine months for finally arrives. Every birth is unique and with that in the back of their minds, moms know unexpected complications can come up at anytime.
What most do not expect – and even hope and pray against – is a physical injury to their newborn. Most moms do everything in their power to give their growing babies exactly what they need throughout the nine months leading to birth. Their protective instinct would also lead mothers to do all they can to keep their little ones safe – in the womb, throughout the birthing process and for their entire lives.
Factors contributing to birth injury
Even with all this going for California’s youngest residents, though, sometimes injuries happen. Stanford Children’s Health says a number of factors can contribute to birth injury.
If the mother has a difficult time delivering or experiences prolonged labor, for example, the baby may suffer trauma. When little ones come early, Stanford Children’s Health adds, their bodies are more fragile and, thus, prone to injury. If they are close to nine pounds or larger, they are also at greater risk.
Requirements for birth injury malpractice claims
When new parents believe their baby could have avoided the trauma of birth injury, they may feel the hospital or doctor holds some responsibility for it. SafeBirthProject explains the four requirements plaintiffs must prove in a medical malpractice claim:
- The newborn suffered an injury during the birthing process.
- The hospital or physician “had a duty” to the newborn.
- Either acted negligently, and did not “uphold that duty.”
- The baby’s injury resulted from that negligence.
SafeBirthProject reminds parents to ask specific questions about their newborn’s prognosis if an injury occurs at birth.