Each year, thousands of babies are born in the United States. While the pregnancy and labor may seem routine and without injury, millions of American women who give birth suffer from undiagnosed complications and injuries. From severe tears to bladder control issues to hormonal imbalances, it is alarming to find out just how many women go undiagnosed – and are left to live with the injuries done by birthing their own child. A recent article in Cosmopolitan highlighted just some of the injuries women experience – and also brought up a good point: Why are these injuries/issues shrugged off?
Childbirth is definitely one of nature’s miracles. For nine months, a woman’s body completely changes in order to carry and grow a human being. During a routine vaginal birth, the woman’s muscles and tissues stretch (sometimes tearing) to allow the baby to pass through. Sometimes, a woman can suffer from pelvic bone cracks and fractures due to the sheer pressure. At the beginning of the 19th Century, nearly nine out of 1,000 American women didn’t survive childbirth – which just goes to prove how dangerous the process can be.
Recent studies have shown that women today suffer from an alarming number of childbirth-related injuries, including:
A study published in the January 2015 edition of the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology reported that 24 percent of the 1,200 women studied were still experiencing painful intercourse within a year postpartum. Another study published by PLoS One discovered that 77 percent of 1,500 study subjects had persistent back pain 12-months postpartum, and 49 percent experienced mild to severe incontinence.
The issues are not just related to vaginal births, either. Another study conducted in 2014 found that 1,115 mothers (half of which had C-sections) also suffered from continuing pelvic pain – regardless of whether their babies were delivered vaginally or not.
Lastly, a study conducted by the University of Michigan likened childbirth injuries and the process itself similar to running a marathon. But, most runners train for a marathon, while most pregnant women do not physically train for childbirth. There is also an alarming number of women who have suffered pelvic fractures during childbirth and have no idea that they had one – with an estimated 29 percent being undiagnosed and another 41 percent having undiagnosed pelvic floor muscle tears.
Even if childbirth is something natural, when a woman suffers an injury because of that process and it goes undiagnosed, it is considered malpractice under the law. Doctors need to take time with their patients to listen to their postpartum concerns – and make sure that they accurately diagnose them.
If you have suffered from injuries due to childbirth, and they went undiagnosed – leaving you in pain for weeks, months, or even years – you need to contact a medical malpractice attorney right away. Contact Berkowitz and Hanna LLC today to schedule a no-obligation case evaluation. Call us or contact us online to get started.