Understanding the Concept of Birth Negligence

For a majority of us, the arrival of a new life in the form of a new born baby is a cause for joy and celebration. It is sobering to remember however, that in some cases this could be a cause for unhappiness and grief, if things were to go wrong.

There could be injury to the mother or child as a result of birth negligence, in which case the parent or parents could make a claim against the medical professional (s).

What are birth injuries?

To understand what is birth negligence it is important to understand the concept of birth injuries. These can take place during the pregnancy, such as if the mother has preeclampsia (gestational high blood pressure), gestational diabetes, and other pregnancy complications. There could also be life threatening complications such as uterine rupture or placental problems.


Birth injuries that take place during labor could include brachial plexus injuries, needless episiotomy or third degree tears, a venthouse delivery or forceps delivery. Sometimes cerebral palsy or congenital hip dysplasia could also be the result of birth injury.

In some tragic cases, a baby may be still born or may die soon after birth and in a number of cases this could be due to a fault of the medical professional or one or more persons in the medical team.

What is birth negligence?

Birth negligence related to acts or omissions that could relate not only to a pregnancy but also to a miscarriage. If a miscarriage was incomplete and the products or conception were retained this could be due to negligence of the medical professional.

If a pregnant woman received inadequate care for pregnancy complications which then leads to birth defects, this could also be cause to be aggrieved. For instance, improper management of gestational diabetes could lead to macrosomia or very large babies, which puts a child at risk of obesity later in life.

In addition, women can also undergo significant trauma and nervous shock in the case of a difficult birthing process. There are many instances where a child’s disabilities and mother’s injuries could have been avoided.

Birth negligence could have long term consequences

The act or omission of the medical professional could mean that a baby is born with certain problems of disabilities, which could be lifelong. It could also mean certain injuries or physical or even mental trauma to the mother. Sometimes the trauma could be such that it has long term consequences to a woman’s reproductive health, sexual health or mental health.