When you think about birth injuries, you probably think immediately of a newborn. In Texas, the occurrence of newborn injuries during labor and delivery continues at a steady pace.
However, what about the mother? The focus is almost always on the baby, but mothers can also suffer traumatic and devastating injuries during labor and, more commonly, delivery. Take a look at some of the injuries women sustain while giving birth and the contributing risk factors.
The pelvic floor is a network of muscles responsible for holding the bowel, uterus and bladder all in place. During an especially rough labor and delivery, these muscles may suffer severe damage. While many women experience some change in the pelvic floor during pregnancy due to stretching, it does not always become a serious issue. Several risk factors may contribute to pelvic floor damage severity, including age, the mother’s weight, the baby’s weight, diabetes in the mother and prior childbirth.
The most severe damage to the pelvic floor may result in organ prolapse. This occurs when the pelvic muscles can no longer hold the bowels, uterus or bladder in place, resulting in them dropping. If any of these organs become displaced, the mother may experience myriad medical issues with bladder and bowel function. Her way of life will not return to normal, and she may wind up unable to work or have children in the future. A doctor may suggest surgery to try to get the organs back in place using mesh.
Delivery room emergencies
There are times when emergencies arise during childbirth. During arduous labors and deliveries, women may develop preeclampsia, a sometimes-fatal condition resulting in high blood pressure. Heart attacks may also occur in situations where the stress and strain of childbirth are too much. These conditions may have no warning signs.
Giving birth should bring joy, not stress that something will happen to the baby or mother. Educate yourself on some of the warning signs, and demand help if you suspect something is wrong.