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Mother’s Conditions That May Cause High-Risk Pregnancy

The Becker Law Firm, LPA

High-risk pregnancies can present challenges throughout pregnancy, but it also can lead to labor and delivery complications. Although there are many different causes, one of the more common causes is medical conditions in the mother.

Diabetes and Pregnancy Problems

According to the American Diabetes Association, as of 2011, there are 18.8 million people diagnosed with diabetes. Another 79 million have prediabetes, where blood glucose levels are higher than they should be but not enough to be considered diabetic.

Diabetes is a concern for women who are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. If the condition is known pre-pregnancy, measures must be taken during the pregnancy to maintain blood sugar levels. But sometimes this condition isn’t detected until pregnancy. Some women even get gestational diabetes, which goes away after giving birth.

Some of the complications of diabetes during pregnancy include:

  • preterm birth (delivering before 37 weeks, which may increase risk of health problems such as infection, jaundice, breathing problems and even death);
  • preeclampsia (precursor to eclampsia, which puts both baby and mother’s health at risk and is characterized by high levels of protein in urine and elevated blood pressure); and
  • miscarriage or stillbirth.

High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy

Another condition in the mother that could result in a high-risk pregnancy is hypertension (high blood pressure). This could be a problem as a preexisting condition, or it can develop during pregnancy. As mentioned, it could turn into preeclampsia, but also it can damage the mother’s organs. Of course, there are risks to the baby, such as a preterm birth or low birth weight.

Epilepsy and Pregnancy Problems

Epilepsy is another medical condition that could be high risk for a pregnant woman. Sometimes seizures increase during pregnancy, but there are other serious risks.

The following are some of the complications associated with epilepsy and pregnancy:

  • placental abruption (placenta separates from uterine wall, which can cause hemorrhaging in the mother and oxygen deprivation in the baby);
  • premature birth (can result in numerous health problems, such as with the brain, heart and respiration);
  • low birth weight (variety of complications such as breathing difficulties, infection and low oxygen levels); and
  • failure to progress (prolonged labor and/or delivery, which can cause fetal distress).

Under what circumstances is a high-risk pregnancy a result of medical negligence?

There are a number of circumstances in which medical negligence could play a role in injuries arising from a high-risk pregnancy. Failing to take an accurate and complete medical history is one example. Not treating known medical conditions in the mother is another. A doctor also may be negligent if the mother and/or baby aren’t properly monitored throughout the pregnancy, or signs of pregnancy problems aren’t detected.

For help determining the viability of a medical malpractice claim, contact an attorney from The Becker Law Firm. We can help clients dealing with these types of cases and can assist them in their pursuit of compensation for damages.

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