If you are preparing to celebrate a holiday, what better way to celebrate than with your newborn? After nine long months of pregnancy, you no doubt are more than ready to meet your new baby and introduce him or her to the world.
Unfortunately, we find it necessary to issue a word of caution about holiday births. Giving birth on or around a holiday can have certain practical implications that can lead to avoidable birth injuries.
Risks Associated with Holiday Births
Inductions that Are Not Medically Necessary
If your doctors and nurses are like most people, they want to get home for the holidays as much as you do. This is certainly not to say that all – or even many – medical professionals would compromise their patients’ safety in favor of clocking out early. But, it can happen.
When your physician is in a rush, he or she may suggest induction in order to speed up your pregnancy. Births are frequently induced for the convenience of the physician or the mother. While the overall rate of induced deliveries has been declining in recent years, studies show that the rate of inductions is still significantly greater than is medically necessary.
While induction can have important – and even life-saving – benefits under appropriate circumstances, it also carries significant risks for both mother and baby. As a result, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) counsels that labor should be induced only in situations where natural birth presents a greater risk of complications than birth through induction.
Some of the primary risks associated with induced labor include:
- Increased risk of needing an emergency cesarean section (C-section)
- Complications from administration of Pitocin
- Respiratory complications for the baby
- Oxygen deprivation, which can reduce your baby’s heart rate
- Infection, uterine rupture, and excessive bleeding for the mother
Hospitals tend to be busier on holidays. From stress to drunk driving accidents to people simply having time off from work, there are a number of factors that lead to these often being some of the busiest days of the year for hospitals.
When the emergency room is busy, the hospital staff may try to induce labor or speed up your pregnancy in order to make room for other patients. Doctors, nurses, and administrative staff may also be more likely to make errors, such as switching patient files and overlooking critical information in your medical record. If these mistakes lead to complications during pregnancy or birth injuries for your newborn, you may be able to seek compensation through a claim for medical malpractice.
What to Do if You Go into Labor on a Holiday
Ultimately, the best thing for your baby is a natural and healthy birth. If you go into labor on a holiday, by all means you should go to the hospital. The odds are that you and your baby will receive appropriate, safe, and professional care. By being aware of the risks noted above, you can ask the right questions and spot the warning signs for possible complications. In the unlikely event that something goes wrong, this will help you seek proper treatment and, if necessary, effective legal representation.
If you have questions about induced delivery or are concerned that you and your baby may have received improper care during a holiday birth, BirthInjuryJustice.org can help. Our attorneys are experienced in all matters relating to labor complications, birth injuries, and neonatal care. For more information, call (440) 252-4399 or contact us online today.