Carrying a baby to term in the womb can be one of the most rewarding, amazing, yet challenging experiences of your life. If you have particular health concerns for you or your child, things may get a bit worrisome from time to time. However, advanced medical technology and skilled medical teams can often help moms who are high-risk to keep their conditions under control and enjoy safe, healthy deliveries.
On the other hand, both mothers and unborn babies are in danger of injury if those licensed to treat them fail to provide quality care. The more you know about your own condition, the more proactive you can be to help keep yourself and your baby safe. If you think your doctor has failed to diagnose a potential problem or has acted outside the scope of accepted safety standards, you have recourse through state law to seek restitution for any injuries that result.
Situations that constitute high-risk pregnancies
You may have already had a pre-existing health condition before you became pregnant, such as high blood pressure or diabetes. If so, this makes your pregnancy automatically high-risk, which requires close monitoring and specialized care. The following issues are also concerning and should prompt your doctor to list you in a high-risk category:
- As mentioned earlier, high blood pressure is a concern at any time in life but especially if you're pregnant. If you have never had high blood pressure until you reached approximately 20 or so weeks in your pregnancy, you may be prone toward preeclampsia, which is a high-risk category.
- Smoking is known to have adverse health effects. If you are pregnant, smoking places your baby at great risk for premature delivery, miscarriage and low birth weight.
- Your age may also determine whether or not your doctor considers your pregnancy high-risk. If you are not yet age 20, your doctor will want to closely monitor your condition, as well as if you happen to be over age 35.
- If your doctor diagnoses you with gestational diabetes, you are high-risk because there are potential negative consequences of this condition for you, as well as for your child.
A key to a safe pregnancy and delivery, even if you are high-risk, is to keep up with your regular prenatal visits, which will likely increase if you are under close monitoring. Another significant factor to your and your child's safety is quality care. If your doctor misses a diagnosis or fails to take appropriate action when he or she is aware of a concerning issue, you or your baby may suffer for it.
If that happens
Birth injuries to the mother or a child should never happen simply because a medical professional failed to do what he or she should have done. Arizona law allows you to seek justice on your own behalf or that of your child, if medical negligence was the cause of injury.