Inducing labor and the health of mother and unborn child

Most Houston-area mothers vividly remember the births of their children, especially if they had a difficult labor. A troublesome or prolonged labor, in addition to being memorable as well as uncomfortable, can also be reason for a doctor to induce labor. Speeding up the natural process of labor, though, can carry risks and is typically only done for legitimate medical reasons.

A negligent physician or careless delivery room staff could inadvertently cause pregnancy-related injuries if inducing labor is not done very carefully. One of the risks of inducing labor is causing the baby to be born too early; a baby's arrival before 39 weeks often means the newborn is more likely to have health issues and experience hospital stays. For women who have had C-sections in the past, some hormones used to induce labor can actually cause uterine rupture. Sometimes, the amniotic sac is broken in an attempt to induce labor, but if the baby hasn't arrived soon after, this can raise the risk of infection.

So, when do responsible doctors induce labor? A physician might induce labor if an expecting mother is a week or two past her due date. Some may not realize that, just like with premature birth, birth that occurs too late can also raise the risk for complications. Another medical reason to induce labor is to avoid infection if a woman's water breaks but her labor doesn't begin. Finally, if either mother or baby have a particular health problem such as high blood pressure or an abnormal heart rate, an OB/GYN may induce labor.

Pregnancy is difficult enough without having to worry about delivery room negligence. Still, this type of thing does unfortunately occur from time to time. Women who have had labor induced due to rash decision-making by a negligent OB/GYN may wish to talk to a Houston pregnancy-related injury attorney. A woman or baby can suffer costly and damaging health problems due to inducing labor in an unsafe manner or without a valid medical reason.

Source: WebMD, "Inducing labor," accessed Sept. 28, 2015

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