The approximately nine months of pregnancy often come with joy, excitement and some of the biggest challenges of your life. If you have already given birth to other children, you may at least somewhat prepare for what lies ahead. However, you also realize that every pregnancy and childbirth experience is unique and one set of circumstances may be easy and free from serious problems while another includes one or more urgent situations.

A central figure in your pregnancy, labor, delivery and postpartum journey is your doctor and the rest of your medical team. You have to do your part — eating right, getting adequate rest and attending prenatal care visits, while your doctor, nurses and other medical workers do their part to keep you and your baby as safe and healthy as possible. If your doctor fails to recognize or acknowledge an emergency, you or your child may suffer catastrophic injuries.

What types of issues signal emergencies?

There are many times when doctors must make the decision to deliver babies through C-sections rather than vaginal births. You may have a condition that prompts your doctor to discuss this with you weeks or months ahead of your due date. On the other hand, you or your baby may suffer distress during labor that leads to a split-second decision. The following list includes signs that warrant such decisions:

  • If you are trying to have a vaginal delivery after prior C-sections and your uterus tears along your surgical scar, this urgent situation that would likely necessitate another C-section.
  • If the doctor tells you the umbilical cord has dropped through the cervix before the head of the baby, referred to as a prolapse, this is a high-risk situation.
  • Hemorrhage is a definite sign of maternal distress.
  • Placenta abruption means that the placenta has torn away from your uterine wall. This should alert your doctor that you require a C-section.

An experienced obstetrician knows how to recognize signs of maternal or fetal distress. Some situations can be life threatening and failure to act quickly and appropriately may result in a tragic outcome. If you or your child suffer catastrophic injury because your doctor did not adhere to safety regulations or failed to act as most doctors with similar medical backgrounds would determine necessary in your circumstances, he or she may be legally liable for the injuries that occurred.

Family care following a birth injury

C-sections often save lives because skilled doctors can deliver babies in a matter of minutes when necessary. The injuries that result from medical neglect often lead to permanent disabilities, requiring daily living assistance. Speaking with other mothers who have suffered similar experiences can be quite helpful. You may also want to talk to someone well versed in personal injury law to learn more about the process available for seeking financial recovery for your losses.