Jump to Navigation

Pregnancy Complications

Did Untreated Pregnancy Complications Cause Your Child's Birth Injury?

If a mother has complications during the pregnancy, the baby may have an increased risk of developing birth defects or childbirth injuries. Many of these injuries are prevented by taking the necessary precautions with pregnancy complications. However, the thousands of babies suffering an injury each year demonstrate that there is still a long way to go in keeping babies healthy and safe during fetal development and delivery.

Some of the more common pregnancy complications leading to birth injuries include:

High Blood Pressure (Preeclampsia)

Preeclampsia is characterized by a spike in blood pressure during the latter half of pregnancy and the few months following the delivery. If left untreated, preeclampsia can turn into eclampsia and cause seizures, coma, and even death of the mother and baby. Additionally, preeclampsia can prevent the placenta from receiving enough blood, resulting in low birth weight and premature birth.

Preeclampsia is thought to be caused by natural conditions, such as poor nutrition and high body fat. The only real treatment is delivery of the baby, which is why so many women with preeclampsia end up delivering early. However, bed rest and other noninvasive treatments can help control preeclampsia until the baby reaches a healthy stage.

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes is characterized by a high blood sugar concentration during the pregnancy. It can cause serious birth defects to the brain and heart, and increased birth weight if it develops in the latter half of the pregnancy. A large baby often creates labor and delivery complications so it is important that the diabetes is diagnosed and treated early.

The rise in hormone levels during pregnancy causes an increase in blood sugar, but most women produce enough insulin to counteract the rise in blood sugar levels. Gestational diabetes occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin. Generally, gestational diabetes can be managed with diet, but for some women it is so severe that insulin shots are necessary. The failure to diagnose gestational diabetes or improper management can lead to serious complications. It is important that your doctor take appropriate action to protect you, and your baby.

Birth Infections

A mother and fetus share a close, symbiotic relationship in which the mother passes nutrients and oxygen to the unborn child through the placenta and umbilical cord. Thus, it is likely that a mother will also pass infections to the baby if she becomes ill during the pregnancy. These birth infections can be fatal.

Proper management of birth infections is essential to protecting both the mother and unborn baby. A doctor's response to symptoms of the infection can literally make the difference between life and death. In fact, mismanagement of an infection may be cause for a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Umbilical Cord Complications

Umbilical cord complications vary and are relatively common in pregnancies. However, the frequency of occurrence should not trump the fact that they are serious abnormalities that can lead to delivery complications and death.

Because umbilical cord complications vary, it is impossible to prevent any sort of abnormality from occurring. It is the diagnosis and actions taken that prevent serious injury from the complication. For example, if a technician notices that the umbilical cord is wrapped around a baby's neck during a late-term ultrasound, the proper action may be to order a C-section in order to prevent strangulation.

Breech Pregnancy

A breech pregnancy is one in which the baby's head is pointing away from the birth canal. In late-term pregnancy, this can prevent a normal delivery and may put the baby in distress. Additionally, birth defects and birth injuries are more prevalent in breech babies because they are not in the proper delivery position.

Breech pregnancies can result from a variety of factors: abnormal shaped uterus, multiple pregnancy and too little amniotic fluid to name a few. A physician should recognize the signs of a breech baby and take the appropriate action, whether that is attempting to turn the baby, wait it out and hope the baby turns on its own, ordering a C-section or delivering the breech baby. There are risks associated with all of these options and a mistake could be costly. It is important to discuss these risks with a physician, or if your baby suffered an injury, to consider whether an error handling the breech pregnancy contributed to it.

Abrupted Placenta

An abrupted placenta, also called placental abruption, is the separation of the placenta from the uterus. It can cause severe bleeding, lack of nutrients and oxygen to the baby, and growth problems.

Delivering a baby is often the best and most safe option following diagnosis of an abrupted placenta. Delaying the delivery is possible if the baby is premature so long as both the mother and baby are well. However, the risks and benefits of delivery need to be evaluated. A doctor that makes the decision to deliver the baby too early, or a doctor that decides to delay the delivery at risk to the mother and child, can cause serious harm.

Find Out More

The Birth Injury Team is a subsidiary of Silvers, Langsam & Weitzman, P.C., made up of experienced attorneys and medical professionals. Our lawyers have more than 100 years of combined experience handling birth injury cases. We are dedicated to helping parents understand their child's condition and guiding them through the process of securing the care and support they need.

To discuss your needs with one of our professionals, contact our office, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. We serve clients across the United States.


Located in Philadelphia, Silvers, Langsam & Weitzman, P.C., home of MyPhillyLawyer, serves clients in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, and throughout the United States.

En Español
SL&W | Silvers, Langsam & Weitzman | Attorneys At Law | Have Your Case Reviewed by our Legal and Medical Team Download Our Brochure | Coping with a Birth Injury

Ask Us a Question?

Contact us toll free at: 215-227-2727 or
contact us by using the free case review form below:

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy