When you learned you were pregnant, this was a moment of joy for you and your entire family. The addition of a new life is something to look forward to, and it is natural to have concerns about your health and the health of your child during the approximate nine or 10 months of pregnancy. This is why it is critical to have careful monitoring and regular screening throughout your pregnancy.
There are many different tests that doctors will run while you are pregnant. They can include basic blood tests to more intensive tests that will more accurately screen the health of you and your baby. Doctors have a responsibility to provide quality care for expectant mothers at every stage of pregnancy. Failure to provide adequate care and screening, such as antepartum testing, could result in devastating consequences for both the mother and the baby.
The intent of antepartum testing
Antepartum testing uses ultrasounds or electronic fetal monitoring to assess the health of the baby. This test determines the well-being of the fetus through its heartrate at every antepartum stage. This includes every stage from learning of the pregnancy to the birth of the baby. While these tests can be performed for any expectant mothers, they are particularly important for high-risk pregnancies, such as those with the following complications:
- The mother had problems with previous pregnancies.
- The mother has a chronic health problem, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, autoimmune disease or other health concern.
- There are other detectable problems with the current pregnancy, such as hypertension, gestational diabetes and more.
- There are ongoing issues with the growth and development of the fetus, including restricted growth, twins, multiple babies or the possibility of birth defects.
While beneficial in specific situations, antepartum testing is beneficial for all pregnancies, even for low-risk mothers. This testing usually starts around 32 weeks, but it can begin much earlier if additional monitoring is necessary.
Failure to adequately test and monitor
It is the responsibility of an Oregon doctor to adequately test and monitor the health of the mother and baby during each stage of pregnancy. Failure to provide testing, such as antepartum testing, could lead to disastrous results that could ultimately harm the health of the mother and the baby. If you or your child suffered due to lack of quality care, you could have grounds to pursue a civil claim against the responsible party.