Birth injuries affect mothers, too. While an infant with a birth injury may have a number of long-term disabilities, mothers may also have injuries from childbirth that likewise shape a significant part of their lives. She may have her own problems to worry about, and they are just as much a part of a malpractice suit than the actual injury of the child.
Physical Birth Injuries
The physical effects of a birth injury on a mother are usually pretty easy to identify. When a doctor or other medical staff person makes a mistake and leaves a visible mark on the mother’s body, there is an obvious sign that something went wrong. Examples of things going wrong include: abnormal uterine bleeding, broken bones or bruising, common peripartum emergencies, current Caesarian section gone wrong or uterine rupture due to not heeding a previous Caesarian section, fissures, infection, pre-eclampsia or eclampsia, uterine hyper-stimulation, vaginal tears or lacerations, or wrongful death of the mother
None of these birth injuries should happen to the mother with the properly trained medical professionals. Several if not all of these birth injuries could mean additional surgeries, therapies, and medications for the mother, all of which cost the family extra unforeseen expenses, not to mention the distraction from being able to immediately nurse and care for the newborn.
Mental Birth Injuries
While physical birth injuries can be expensive, painful, and unwanted, perhaps the worst birth injuries to mothers are mental birth injuries. Mental birth injuries may last longer and cost more money in therapy as the mother copes with the long-term effects of a birth injury.
Mothers who struggle with mental birth injuries struggle through understandable stress and are more likely to endure depression. Mothers are also likely to undergo post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Mothers who struggle with PTSD are known to have depressive behavior and may need to undergo therapy and medication to be able to move past the event. Some mental birth injuries are so debilitating that mothers can’t even care for their new baby –a baby with a birth injury who requires a lot of special care.
Care for Mothers with Birth Injuries
There may be a number of things that can help a mother with a birth injury. If the mother has PTSD, she can undergo treatment with a therapist and medication. If the mother doesn’t have PTSD but still need to find a supportive, therapy-like environment, there are support groups for mothers with birth injuries, as are there support groups for the mothers of children with specific birth injuries such as cerebral palsy. The best thing for the mother is to find a support system, whether she finds it through a tightly-networked family, support groups, or therapy.
Ultimately, it’s important for mothers to realize that their care is just as important as the child’s care. After all, who can look out after the child if the mother can’t look after herself?