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Arizona personal injury: Vaginal tearing during childbirth

There is nothing easy about childbirth. It is a physically demanding process, one that can do some serious damage to a woman's body. Thankfully, labor and delivery medicine is always advancing and improving in order to help women in Arizona and elsewhere have better birthing experiences and reduce their chances of experiencing injuries. Unfortunately, personal injury -- such as vaginal tearing -- is still common, but in some cases it is preventable.

Vaginal -- also known as perineal – tearing is pretty typical during childbirth. The odds of a woman tearing is actually about 95 percent for first-time moms. Tearing can a happen for a number of reasons including the weights of both mom and baby, position of the baby, having a fast delivery and the use of labor assist devices -- such as forceps or vacuum -- among others.

There are four types of vaginal tears. The first type, known as a first-degree tear, is considered relatively minor and might require some suturing. Second and third-degree tears are a little bigger and go a little deeper, affecting muscle tissue. These require quite a bit of stitching, but full recovery is usually expected. Finally, fourth-degree tears are the worst, causing damage from the vagina to the rectal lining and several layers of muscles.

Fourth-degree tears are not common, but they do happen, usually because a baby is too big or because assist devices were utilized. Some women can have complete recoveries after experiencing this type of tear. Unfortunately, others will deal with pain that may never go away or will require further medical procedures to try to correct.

While it is impossible to prevent all tearing during a vaginal birth, labor and delivery staff should be able to recognize when a vaginal birth will have serious physical consequences to the mother and consider alternative birthing solutions -- such as a cesarean section. Any woman in Arizona who feels she has suffered unnecessary personal injury during the birthing process due to the negligence of medical staff may have legal recourse. An experienced attorney will be able to help with this by reviewing one's case, filing claims in civil court -- if appropriate -- and seeking maximum compensation for the client.

Source:, "Vaginal Tearing During Childbirth: What You Need to Know", Holly Pevzner, Jan. 4, 2017

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