Expectant mothers sometimes choose to have their baby delivered by a midwife instead of an OB/GYN. Midwives are trained and certified to assist in childbirth, but depending on their level of certification there are limits to their services. They are usually employed for low-risk pregnancies that do not require a C-section.
Our birth injury attorneys know that midwife negligence can occur with tragic results for both mother and newborn.
Midwives are only qualified to assist in low-risk pregnancies. Negligence occurs when they take on a patient that is beyond their capabilities. High-risk patients, or even those at moderate risk, need the care of a qualified OB/GYN who can better ensure the safety of mother and child. A certified midwife should be honest with patients about the level of risk involved, and if an OB/GYN would be a better alternative. If complications arise during birth, then the midwife does not have the training necessary to give the mother and newborn the specialized help they need.
Negligence also occurs when midwives fail to deviate from the predetermined birth plan. Many times expectant parents choose midwives because they are less likely than an OB/GYN to intervene in an pregnancy. Midwives very rarely use fetal monitoring, epidurals and episiotomies. They are also legally prohibited from using forceps, vacuums, or C-sections. Expectant parents want the midwife to help plan what they think will be a “perfect birth.” Sometimes the midwife gets so caught up in following this plan to the end, that they may not do what is actually best for the health of the patients.
When a midwife fails to take action, then medical malpractice can occur. This may result in cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy, brain and nerve damage, and other injuries with long-term effects. The birth injury attorneys of Prochaska, Howell & Prochaska LLC have years of experience in successful birth injury litigation. We are dedicated to every client and helping families recover from this terrible tragedy. Please call our birth injury attorneys today for a consultation, so we can review your case!