Maternal Health Conditions

Nationwide Cerebral Palsy Resource Network

If you suffered from a maternal health condition that should have been managed differently to avoid harm to your baby, then the doctors and medical personnel who made the tragic error may be accountable. There are many different conditions that can lead to a birth injury if the doctor does not identify it and treat it properly.

Although you may initially blame yourself for your child’s birth injury because it was your medical health that contributed to the harm, the truth is that most, if not all, of these maternal health conditions can be treated or managed to minimize or eliminate the impact on your child. Please call Stern Law, PLLC at (800)462-5772 for a complimentary case evaluation.

Types of health issues passed from the mother

Here are a few of the maternal health conditions that could negatively impact the health of your baby:

  • Maternal infections – Due to the extensive connection between the fetal and maternal immune system, those conditions that the mother experiences often are transmitted to the fetus during pregnancy or the birth process. Your immune system offers protection to your baby, while the baby avoids negative interaction as a foreign body. Throughout the nine months of pregnancy, there are stages of transmission of protection, including the third-trimester migration of antibodies from you to your child. However, maternal infections also may be transmitted if not managed properly.
  • Placental, cervical, or uterine abnormalities – Structural abnormalities of the cervix and uterus may lead to improper presentation of the baby for delivery, overlong labor, and the need for an emergency cesarean section (c-section). The development of the placenta too low in the uterus or other complications, including placental abruption, may lead to serious complications if the doctor fails to diagnose or treat the condition appropriately or in a timely manner.
  • Premature rupture of membranes – There are certain times when the membrane surrounding the unborn baby, known as the amniotic sac, may rupture before the pregnancy has gone to full term. A preterm premature rupture of the membrane (PPROM) can lead to severe harm to your baby if it is not diagnosed and treated promptly.
  • Blood incompatibility – If you and your baby have Rh or ABO blood incompatibility, there can be terrible harm to your baby if the doctor does not diagnose and treat the condition appropriately. If you do not have the Rh factor and your baby does, maternal antibodies may be transmitted from you to the baby during delivery and destroy your baby’s red blood cells.
  • Seizure disorders – A doctor must be very careful with the diagnosis and treatment of a woman who has a seizure disorder. By leaving a seizure disorder untreated, you may suffer hypertension, anemia, preeclampsia, and fall-related injuries. However, through treatment of the seizure disorder, the doctor must be aware of the negative effects of the anti-seizure disorder medication being prescribed. A failure to manage or treat the seizure disorder can lead to serious consequences for your baby.
  • Hypertension – High blood pressure, sometimes referred to as toxemia or preeclampsia, may lead to a decrease of blood flow in the fetus, leading to damage to the brain, kidneys, liver, or placenta. In addition, it can lead to placental rupture.
  • Diabetes – A woman who has insulin-dependent diabetes is at much greater risk of preeclampsia, serious fetal malformation, and high birth weight. A woman who develops gestational diabetes is at a greater risk of hypertension and related conditions, and high birth weight of the baby. It is critical for the doctor to diagnose and treat these conditions throughout the pregnancy in order to avoid serious birth injuries.

These are simply a few of the maternal health conditions that can lead to a devastating birth injury if the doctor or other medical professional does not diagnose or treat the maternal health condition in the proper manner.

Doctor liability for birth injuries

A doctor or other medical professional may be responsible for your child’s birth injury if the following applies to your situation:

  • The doctor did not diagnose or identify the relevant maternal health condition at all or in a timely manner
  • The doctor did not administer the proper medical treatment
  • The failure to act, using improper treatment, or if avoidable delay led to harm to the child
  • The harm was a serious birth injury that will impact your child’s life severely

If a doctor, midwife, or other medical provider failed to take into account a health issue that could affect your baby during pregnancy, you're likely unsure where to turn next. Stern Law, PLLC provides experienced counsel for families in circumstances just like yours. Contact us by calling (800)462-5772 for a free consultation.