According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 7 out of 1000 children suffer from birth injuries. Approximately half of them can be avoided through effective prenatal care and attention on the mother’s part.
A birth injury can be caused by several factors, such as preterm birth, low or high birth weight, prolonged labor, maternal obesity, dystocia, and cephalopelvic disproportion. Here are some steps that pregnant women can take to minimize the risk of birth injury for their babies.
1. Say No To Smoking, Drinking, and Drugs
It is advised by doctors to stop smoking and drinking during pregnancy to ensure a healthy delivery. Drugs should be avoided as many of them often have detrimental effects on the baby’s development (brain and muscles), leading to birth injuries.
Even if a mother has to take medicine for a medical condition, it is advised that she talk to her obstetrician before doing so.
2. Adept Doctors, Nurses, and Medical Professionals
You must look for doctors that are adept at what they do and have successful cases as their alibi. Most birth injuries can be avoided if the doctors and midwife are well-experienced and have been with you since day one of the pregnancy. You also feel more comfortable with them. However, birth injuries can still be caused by the carelessness of doctors, nurses, and medical professionals.
If your baby receives a birth injury during birth from a doctor or midwife, or any other medical professional, you can get legal help by contacting a birth injury lawyer. They can guide you about the legal aspect of this negligence and can even help you file a birth injury lawsuit.
3. Ensuring Prenatal Care
Prenatal care is the most important protection that can help you avoid birth injuries altogether. Make sure you attend all the appointments your doctor and midwife have advised to better understand the pregnancy.
During prenatal care, healthcare providers look for any problems that could impact the health of the baby and provide solutions to them. Doctors also explain the procedure for future consultations, labor, and delivery. Mothers are typically prescribed prenatal vitamins and supplements and given direction on their diet and exercise routine.
They are taught about complications if the doctor’s advice is not followed. Mothers can ask as many questions as they can to their caregivers about any odd signs or symptoms that they get during pregnancy. It helps them get information about what can and cannot increase the chances of birth injuries in a newborn.
4. Folic Acid Intake
Folic acid is vital for optimal fetal development; however, it is missing in many diets. Doctors recommend pregnant women incorporate it into their diet and prescribe supplements to them. Suppose your folic acid intake is good, especially during the first trimester. In that case, it can prevent neural tube defects in the babies, and the babies can have a healthy nervous system development which will aid in avoiding birth injuries.
5. Weight Monitoring During Pregnancy
Monitoring your weight during pregnancy can help you and your obstetrician better analyzes your condition and state. The popular belief that a pregnant woman should eat for two people isn’t necessarily true and is often not the way to go about one’s diet.
It is advised that a pregnant woman gain 25 to 35 pounds during her pregnancy to aid fetal development. It isn’t a hard and fast rule and may vary from woman to woman depending upon the body type and any other medical condition that one might have.
6. Managing Diabetes
If you have diabetes or have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, you must monitor and control your blood sugar levels. You should talk to your healthcare provider and see how you can ensure that your blood sugar levels stay within an acceptable range; this is crucial for the baby’s healthy development and to avoid any injury to the baby.
7. Planning Since The First Trimester
As a pregnant mother, you must locate qualified healthcare professionals. If you have a late pregnancy, it is advised that you go to a perinatologist rather than an obstetrician, as they are more experienced and can provide active prenatal care. Read and watch videos about pregnancy to educate yourself about the risks of pregnancy and are aware of the right course of action if there is an emergency.
8. Preparation For Delivery
You must plan for the delivery. You can pre-register yourself with a hospital, tour the maternal ward and see how things happen. You can then analyze whether the hospital is clean, organized, and can handle the pressure of labor and delivery.
Fetal movement, especially in the last couple of months of the pregnancy, should be tracked and monitored regularly. Pregnant mothers must speak immediately to their doctors if they feel any irregularity. Timely analysis of problems can help prevent cranium and brain trauma to the child, leading to a birth injury.
Every mother does everything in her power to protect her baby. She tries to find the best healthcare professionals within her range and even alters her diet and routine completely to ensure that her child is healthy. However, some mothers might make mistakes when it comes to taking care of themselves before delivery or might even hire healthcare professionals that aren’t up to the mark and can cause birth injury to the baby. Follow the tips mentioned above to ensure your baby remains healthy and doesn’t get a birth injury.
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