A pregnancy can be an exciting time for a women. For many women, they marvel at how their body can change to support a new life. While many people consider pregnancy a miracle, it is also a major medical situation. Pregnant women require regular prenatal care in order to ensure that the pregnancy is healthy and that the woman’s body is responding appropriately.
Without proper prenatal care, from a competent healthcare professional, the woman and her child can be placed in harm’s way. Proper prenatal care can help doctors diagnose potential pregnancy-related injuries and preventable birth injuries. Negligent monitoring, on the other hand, can lead to preventable error. One important part of prenatal care is assessing whether a mother is carrying a high risk pregnancy. If a woman is high risk, then additional precautions will be necessary. Many may wonder what risk factors can lead to a high risk pregnancy.
Factors that can lead to a high risk pregnancy include the woman’s overall health. Underlying medical conditions and chronic problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes or mental health conditions can increase the risk of pregnancy. A woman’s lifestyle choices — like smoking or drug use — also create risk. A woman’s advanced age also increases the pregnancy risk — women over 35 have more risk. Additionally, the number of babies a woman is carrying and how the baby is positioned or growing can also create a high risk pregnancy.
Women who have an undiagnosed high risk pregnancy may suffer complications. A competent doctor should be able to diagnose many of these issues. While this post cannot give specific legal advice, an attorney can help women determine if a doctor failed to diagnose a high risk pregnancy and put a woman or her unborn child at risk.
Source: Mayo Clinic, “High-risk pregnancy: Know what to expect,” accessed Nov. 9, 2014