Giving birth is one of the most majestic, powerful experiences a woman can have during her lifetime. The act of childbirth is incredible and mind-blowing—and can also sometimes be terrifying and dangerous. Depending on how the delivery goes, the attending medical professionals may recommend extreme measures in order to get the infant safely out of the mother’s womb during the birth process. Often these medical decisions are made quickly. Medical professionals may use forceps or vacuum extractors to safely birth a distressed infant. If an infant’s heart rate isn’t steady, sometimes doctors have to act quickly during the birth process to care for both the baby and the mother’s safety.
Unfortunately, sometimes these extreme measures can result in a birth injury or a birth defect. Some examples of birth injuries that can be caused by medical malpractice at the time of birth are brain damage (such as cerebral palsy), various infections, and even spinal birth injuries. One birth injury that usually flies under the radar, but can be caused by a birth injury due to medical malpractice or negligence at the time of birth, is scoliosis. Scoliosis is a curvature of the spine, usually resulting in an ‘s’ or ‘c’ shape to the back. Sometimes scoliosis is identified later in a child’s life, but sometimes it can be seen in a newborn. Usually, this is due to some type of negligence or damage caused during the delivery process. Depending on the curve progression, there are various forms of physical therapy that can be used for scoliosis treatment.
If your infant has scoliosis, cerebral palsy, or a number of other birth injuries, you have many options and steps you can take. Keep reading to learn about what to do if you believe your baby has suffered a birth injury.
Get an attorney.
Babies who suffer from birth injuries need more medical care—that’s just a fact. Not only that, but you will need more support as well, and so will the rest of your family. Caring for a child with cerebral palsy or scoliosis is not the same as caring for a child with a healthy spine, and you deserve fair compensation to help pay for all the medical bills and various therapies that your child and you will need. This will be a huge help in maintaining a better quality of life for you all, without worrying about the money to pay for medical bills all the time.
That’s why, if you believe you have a solid birth injury case, you should get a birth injury lawyer as soon as possible. An excellent attorney will be able to pinpoint any medical error there may have been and prove that medical negligence or medical malpractice caused the birth defect that you and your family now have to handle for the rest of your lives. You have legal options, so find an attorney from a reputable law firm and get the legal advice you need to get the fair compensation you deserve.
Your attorney will likely tell you to collect medical records, ask to interview family members, and collect expert testimony from healthcare professionals who can provide insight into the birth injury case or another medical malpractice lawsuit.
Make sure that you find an attorney who has plenty of experience with medical malpractice claims, but also understands the importance of a great attorney-client relationship. This is especially important when it comes to new, worrying parents who are caring for a newborn who has suffered from a birth injury. Look for “Chicago birth injury lawyer” (or wherever you’re located) online to find a lawyer who is in your area and may be familiar with the obstetrician who worked on your birth process. Remember, many attorneys will offer a free consultation. Also, many birth injury attorneys only take a commission on any compensation you win as a result of your medical malpractice case. That is to say, if your Chicago birth injury attorney doesn’t win your claim within the bounds of Illinois law, they don’t get paid. So you bear no financial risk by finding out about legal action.
Get treatment for your infant.
Whether your baby has mild scoliosis or a much more serious birth defect, such as paralysis or muscle spasms, consult with a pediatrician as soon as possible to find treatment options for your child. Early intervention, before your child reaches skeletal maturity, can help a lot when it comes to mitigating the harm caused by birth trauma, so the sooner you can find out about physical therapy and other options, the sooner you can minimize the side effects.
Don’t forget to take care of yourself.
Facing the fear, worry, anxiety, and anger that comes with realizing that your newborn has a birth defect will take a toll on a new mother. After all, finding out that your little baby’s spine is injured due to some obstetrician’s negligence is every pregnant mother’s worst nightmare. A spinal cord injury? Paralysis? Brain defects due to lack of oxygen? It can be too much to take in the details of your child’s condition.
That being said, the best way to be there for your baby and for your other family members is to be there for yourself. Remember, you were just a pregnant mother a moment ago, consulting with a midwife about breath patterns during the birth process. This would be a huge transition for you, even if you didn’t have all of these extra worries. And you do.
Being there for yourself doesn’t mean taking a weeklong trip to a spa—of course, this is impossible. You have a newborn with scoliosis or another birth defect to take care of. Try, instead, to do simple things for yourself. Meditate (you can use a YouTube guided meditation or an app), even for just ten minutes a day. Do some stretches when you wake up. On the way to the physical therapist, listen to some music that you love. Keep a litre bottle of water nearby, to make sure that you stay hydrated. You wouldn’t believe what a difference you’ll feel in your energy levels and general wellbeing, just by drinking a liter of water during the day. The easiest way to do this is just to keep a water bottle nearby and sipping it during your meetings with healthcare professionals and birth injury attorneys.
Remember, even with all of the strife that comes with knowing that your baby will not have the muscle strength and spine health of his or her peers, the birth of a child is a magical and amazing moment in your life. The baby made it into your life, to be an incredible person who won’t stop to amaze you as they grow older. Regardless of the medical conditions they face, you have created a life, a beautiful newborn with oodles of potential. The love you’ll feel for this baby won’t be changed by whether they have mild scoliosis or severe scoliosis. It’s no indication of how joyful their life will be. All it means is that you have a lot more logistics upfront. But that’s what the birth injury attorney is for. You just worry about getting your baby the best scoliosis treatment from the best medical experts and giving them the most love in the world.