Staying healthy to prevent birth injuries as a pregnant parent

surprised baby
A child surprised by the risk he's being exposed to

One thing most people look forward to is the birth of their child. Those nine months of pregnancy can sometimes be the longest months of a woman’s life. 

Parturition (or labor) is a delicate procedure that must be handled by trained doctors and midwives, or there’s no telling how much damage can be caused in the process. 

When the labor process is handled by incompetent/careless medical care practitioners, you can expect anything from the loss of the baby’s life, to the loss of the mother’s life, the loss of both lives, or birth injury. 

Birth injury is a general term that is used to describe any type of harm that a baby suffers during birth, shortly after birth, or close to the time of birth. This is a serious conversation every parent (or intending parent) should have. Statistics have shown that at least 6 to 8 in every 1000 children born in the U.S are born with a birth injury. This may not appear like a lot until you look at the statistics from a holistic perspective. Going by those numbers, there are about 28,000 birth injuries per annum. 

These birth injuries include spinal cord injuries, cerebral palsy, and intracranial haemorrhage. These are life-threatening injuries that can affect the child’s quality of life forever. 

There are many causes of birth injuries. While many of these birth injuries are caused by the professionals on duty, it’s vital that you play your own part as a parent to ensure that you don’t place your child at the risk of sustaining birth injuries. 

As the survey revealed, children of mothers between ages 25 and 29 who are experiencing non-instrument vaginal delivery are also susceptible to birth injuries

As a result, paying extra attention to your health as a pregnant parent is an integral part of preventing birth injuries. Let’s go over some best practices that can help you stay in proper shape and reduce the chances of causing a birth injury to your child. 

Effective tips to stay healthy while you are pregnant

To reduce the chances of giving birth to a child who would suffer birth injury, you have to be fit as a fiddle, even during pregnancy. Here are a few tips you should maximize as a pregnant parent. 

1. Keep a trusted doctor on standby

If you notice, we didn’t say to keep a trusted medical personnel on standby (as that may include nurses, pharmacists, and even radiologists). While they are all qualified medical personnel, you need to have a doctor on speed dial. 

Preferably, a gynecologist. 

This is because during your time as a pregnant parent, you’d experience all sorts of emotions and physical body changes. It’s important that you have a trained specialist who understands what you’re going through and can help you navigate the trying times. 

Then again, who knows when your labor would start? Take this tip more seriously as you approach the end of your 3rd trimester. 

2. Antenatal programs and doctor appointments should be a MUST for you 

Many preggies tend to dread the time they have to spend at their doctor’s consulting room. They would rather not sign up for comprehensive antenatal programs at all, than deal with the seeming stress that comes with it. 

If your intention is to give birth to a child that’s fit, your antenatal sessions and doctor’s appointments should be a must-attend. During these programs, you get equipped with the necessary information that can help you make the most of your parturition stage. 

Also, appointments with the doctor are times to examine your baby to be sure that they are fine. Skipping these could cause terrible challenges for you. 

3. Say no to unnecessary carbs 

Junk food? You should take them as far away from your refrigerator as possible. While pregnant, you should treat your body to foods that are heavy on vitamins. Fruits and vegetables should be regular staples for you. 

Also, consume foods that are rich in calcium and folate. They give your child all the nutrients they need to grow and become healthy. With these in place, you reduce the chances of giving birth to a child that’s deformed. 


4. You need more fluids

As an expectant parent, your body needs more fluids. However, pay attention to the kind of fluids you take. 

Inasmuch as you need fluids, please do your best to avoid carbonated drinks, wine, and alcoholic fluids. These can interfere with the normal developmental process of your precious baby. 

Instead, take a lot of water. If what you’d do to remind yourself to take water regularly is to buy a bottle, fill it up with water, and take it with you wherever you go, then so be it. Your body needs more water and you should make it a point of duty to give your body what it wants. 

5. Always remember to dress comfortably 

You are at a point in your life where you may not be feeling like your usual self. Your love for body-fitting dresses may go out the door. Your affinity for pretty stilettos may no longer be within reach. 

If that’s how you feel, please be fine with it. Fashion is what you feel comfortable in, and not what you force yourself to be okay with. 

One thing you should prioritize as a pregnant parent is your comfort. As much as possible, fold up all those body-hugging dresses and pack your high-heeled shoes aside. You’ll pick them up once your child has been delivered. 

6. No drinking. No smoking. Go easy on the caffeine

These (especially the caffeine part) may be a lot to take in at first, but it is necessary you pay attention to this point. 

Smoking, drinking, and excessive caffeine affect your health in more ways than one. Another thing you need to know right now is that there’s more than 1 heart and 2 kidneys to protect. So, to keep your child from experiencing health complications that could lead to birth injuries, staying away from these is vital. 

Guide created by Natera, who provide ctdna testing

What happens if after following all these, your child still experiences birth injury as a result of the professional’s misconduct? 

If, after following all these guidelines, your child suffers a birth injury as a result of carelessness on the professionals’ part, you may want to seek redress. Engage the services of experienced medical malpractice attorneys as you do this. 

To learn more about Duffy & Duffy’s birth injury legal services, click