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Medical malpractice in South Jersey affects hundreds of people each year, but some of the most emotionally devastating malpractice cases are those that include newborn children and mothers. Mothers who are expecting have a great deal of control in choosing the place and nature of their births, including the technology and medications used, type of delivery, and more. Home births have risen significantly over the last 10 years, with a 29 percent increase between 2004 and 2009 alone.
A home birth can make things significantly easier for the expectant mother, allowing her to deliver her child in a familiar, comforting place under the supervision and care of a professional midwife. However, cases of medical malpractice affect all types of patients, and unfortunately new mothers are no exception. It is a midwife’s medical duty to inform patients of any and all risks that come with a natural birth, and determine if the process is actually in the mother’s best interests for herself and her child.
If you are considering hiring a midwife to help with a home birth, there are a few primary considerations to make in order to reduce risk and ease the process. First, knowing whether you or your baby are at risk for health complications during and after the birth can help you make an informed decision about whether home birth is even a good choice in the first place. If a medical professional does determine that you are at a high risk, choosing to give birth in a hospital can ensure that any necessary medical professionals or equipment is close at hand if needed. Researching the options for midwives in your area is also an important step, as each state has different requirements and certification processes for midwives.
On a related note, knowing what your state law dictates about home births is helpful information, especially for mothers delivering at home for the first time. Some states, for example, require a medical professional to be present in the home during a birth, while other states might require the midwife to collaborate with an obstetrician during the pregnancy.
There are a few different criteria for midwife negligence and malpractice cases, and knowing your rights as a patient will protect both you and your child during the birth. Midwives are obligated to screen patients, and to refer those who are deemed too high a risk to professional medical care for their births.
Many negligence cases result from midwives ignorant of the risks of VBAC, or vaginal birth after cesarean. Midwives are also obligated to disclose risks in a clear and open manner to their patients, and to meet state standards for licensing and experience. Other negligence criteria include failing to determine the infant’s health, or having inadequate procedures during an emergency delivery.
If you feel that you may have been the victim of midwife negligence or malpractice, reach out to our Cherry Hill medical malpractice lawyers today. Call 856-354-9444 for a free case review, or contact us online. Serving clients for medical malpractice in South Jersey, Folkman Law Offices, P.C. is dedicated to ensuring each client receives full compensation for medical care in the event that they have suffered malpractice.