Published on

Families rejoice when mom and baby come home.  For some mom’s, though, the next physical challenge is just beginning.

New moms are usually exhausted, recovering from delivery, and taking care of a newborn.  Breastfeeding can be challenging for first-time moms and healthcare providers are often less attentive after baby enters the world. Many times women are not instructed to touch base with their own physician for an appointment until a month or two down the road unless there is a problem.

For some women, lack of awareness of their own physical issues can lead to serious illness or injury.

The fourth trimester

The three months after giving birth are known as the fourth trimester.  Enormous change occurs as the body readjusts to supporting one—rather than two lives.  During this time period, women who were at high-risk during pregnancy may ignore serious symptoms, and their doctors may simply not ask.

Some conditions of concern during the fourth trimester include:

  • High blood pressure: Women who suffered from high blood pressure prior to, or during pregnancy, should be monitoring during the postpartum period.
  • Pre-term delivery: Women who deliver pre-term babies may be at higher risk for heart disease or stroke.
  • Gestational diabetes: Women who have chronic diabetes or who suffer gestational diabetes should be monitored throughout the post-partum period.
  • Postpartum depression: All women should be monitored for the development of postpartum depression, especially if the pregnancy or birth was difficult, or if birth trauma injured mom or baby on delivery.
  • Chronic abdominal or pelvic pain: Women who deliver via C-section are at higher risk for surgical complications. Giving birth vaginally also has risks.  Many healthcare providers simply do not inquire about discomfort or disturbing symptoms suffered by new moms, and many women in the post-partum phase are too tired or embarrassed to ask.

At the University of Michigan, the Healthy Healing After Delivery Program is intended to help new moms obtain the care and information they need while they adapt to injuries they suffered during childbirth.  The program reports approximately 15 percent of new moms need additional treatment for lacerations, episiotomies, incontinence, and other issues.

Considered a package deal during pregnancy, both mom and baby receive prenatal care.  After delivery for mom?  Not so much.

Talk to your physician if you have ongoing symptoms or issues after giving birth, especially if yours was a high-risk pregnancy.  If you or your baby were injured during childbirth—consider speaking with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer.

Speak with a skilled medical malpractice attorney today

With offices in Baltimore, Maryland, and Washington, D.C, the legal team at Schochor, Staton, Goldberg, and Cardea, P.A. provides committed, trusted legal service if you suffer a Never Event or other form of medical negligence.  Contact us or call 410-234-1000 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.