There’s a lot to plan when you want a baby, including making the decision when to start trying to conceive at the start of the process, followed by everything from choosing names and color schemes for the nursery to where and how to give birth. For many women, giving birth is an empowering experience. Pregnancy, and then labor, push the body to its limits. As an experience women go through only a handful of times each (if at all), and with each pregnancy and birth being a unique experience, it is not surprising that creating a birth plan is a key event in a woman’s pregnancy.
What Is a Birth Plan?
With each woman, child and labor being different, there is no manual to support childbirth. Through discussions with their partner and healthcare professionals a pregnant woman can create a document stating what they wish to happen during the birthing process. This may include which drugs to use, whether or not they want their partner present, when to cut the umbilical cord or anything else relating to the labor and birth. This document is then placed in the hospital bag for medical staff to refer to so they can do their best to meet the mother’s wishes.
What If Things Go Wrong?
Birthing plans are what a woman hopes will happen in an ideal situation but, as birth is a traumatic event for both mother and baby, not every birth will follow this ideal. Sometimes decisions will be made on the spur of the moment and a woman will not be in a position to consent due to their condition. Emergency situations can and do happen and not every outcome is a happy one. Birth injuries such as ruptures, hemorrhages and fractures can affect mothers and babies born through both vaginal and cesarean births can suffer shoulder dystocia, asphyxia, or paralysis. Long term conditions such as cerebral palsy and brain damage can also be the result of a wrongful decision made during the birthing process. In rare and tragic circumstances, the outcome can be fatal.
My Birth Didn’t Go to Plan. What Are My Rights?
If you or your baby have suffered injury during labor or the birthing process, you will rightfully be angry and upset. You placed your trust in the hands of the medical team you chose to support you through what should be the happiest of moments, and if you feel your injuries are because of negligence or incompetence, you will probably be seeking justice. Lawyers experienced in birth injuries can give you advice and support. Their specialized knowledge of personal injury law can assist your claims against medical expenses, malpractice and negligence and aim to provide maximum compensation during a distressing time. Reputable companies will offer a free consultation to discuss your individual case.
If your birth didn’t go to plan, do seek legal advice. Birth injuries should not be considered the norm, and you may be due compensation.