You're having a baby. It's likely to be one of the most exciting, challenging, joyful and worrisome times in your life. You've hopefully been regularly attending prenatal visits and are working with a doctor and medical team you trust. In fact, the experience and competence of your California obstetrician and other medical workers may be a key factor in the health and safety of you and your baby.
One of the many things expectant mothers tend to worry about is premature birth. Especially if you are feeling heavy Braxton Hicks contractions, it can definitely make you think you are going into labor. Your doctor knows how to tell true labor from false labor and can recognize signs of potential problems that place you and your child at high risk for a birth that happens too soon.
Health issues that should cause concern
When you visit your doctor, it's common to have discussions regarding your and your baby's progress throughout pregnancy. The following list shows numerous issues that might prompt a premature birth:
- Has your doctor inquired about your eating habits? Obstetricians understand that a mother's poor nutrition or diet can cause premature labor symptoms.
- Maternal or fetal infection cause preterm birth.
- You have hopefully abstained from smoking cigarettes during pregnancy or, better yet, at all times. Pregnant women who smoke are at great risk for premature births.
- Your doctor takes various measurements throughout your pregnancy. If your cervix is too short, it can cause your baby to be born too early.
- High levels of maternal stress can cause premature labor symptoms.
There are three types of preterm birth. You might start having contractions and other labor symptoms in the typical order of events in which most pregnancies unfold. Your water might unexpectedly and suddenly break, thus starting the labor process. The obstetrician might order a C-section even though you are not yet full term if he or she believes it is best for the health and safety of you or your baby.
What if your doctor is negligent?
There are numerous other issues that most experienced obstetricians would recognize as risk factors for premature birth. Such issues include multiple births or short spans of time in between pregnancies as well as certain genetic predispositions.
Unless you have a well-versed background in obstetrics, you might not necessarily know when you or your baby is at risk. That's what an obstetrician or midwife is for, right? If licensed medical team members fail in their duty to protect you and your child, it can result in serious birth injuries. Many California parents have sought financial recovery for their losses in such situations by filing medical malpractice claims in court.