Considering the Risk of Birth Injuries from Home Births

December 31, 1969

Many parents in California today opt for home births rather than giving birth in the hospital. There are a lot of reasons for this, including the high cost of hospital visits and the desire to have a more calming, natural birth experience than is often provided in hospitals. However, home births can present some significant risks and a lot of controversy surrounds the issue of whether home births are safe. 1092928_baby_portrait.jpg

Our Los Angeles birth injury lawyers know that birth injuries can happen anywhere, from hospitals to home. While there may be some benefits to home birth, the basic fact is that you are less able to respond to emergencies when giving birth outside of a hospital setting. This can result in both the mother and baby facing serious health problems if something goes wrong that cannot be addressed right away.

Birth Injuries & Home Birth Issues

Recently, My Fox told one couple's sad story about a home birth that went wrong. According to the parents interviewed for the story, they opted to hire a midwife and have a home birth when their son was born. The article indicated that many women are making this choice in part due to the expense of a hospital birth.

Unfortunately, things did not go well and a placental abruption occurred during the birth. The mother began bleeding very badly and the midwife did not call an ambulance. As a result, the baby was born with a permanent and severe brain injury.

Brain injuries are one of the most common types of birth injury and they can result not just from placental abruption but from any situation where the baby's brain is deprived of oxygen or blood for any length of time. A delayed Ceserean section, an umbilical cord wrapped around the neck and a host of other problems can all lead to brain damage. The extent of the damage will vary depending upon how the brain was injured and how long the brain was without blood or oxygen.

In the case of this couple, the baby's brain injury was severe. He was not able to crawl, sit up alone, speak or stand. The baby's life was also cut very short and he died just 1,047 days after his birth in May of 2010. The child's mother and father are now speaking out about their story in the hopes that the guidelines and accountability requirements will change for midwives.

Malpractice and Birth Injuries While this story is an isolated incident, the fact is that there are many concerns in the U.S. and worldwide about home births. For example, a recent article in The Guardian reported on the fact that UK laws are changing in October and will bar midwives from practicing without indemnity insurance. This will essentially put an end to the practice of independent midwives because no insurance providers will be willing to cover them.

There is a reason that midwives are not generally covered by the same type of insurance that doctors are provided, either in the US or in the UK. The practice of home births is simply too dangerous and the risk of birth injuries too high for insurance companies to be willing to issue comprehensive insurance policies.

This means that when you decide on a home birth, you are at risk not just of having your child suffer a birth injury but also of being limited in your ability to collect monetary damages for malpractice when something goes wrong. These factors need to be taken into account and weighed against the benefits of home birth when you decide if giving birth at home is the right choice for you.

Contact Howard Law, PC today, if you or a loved one has suffered a birth injury. Call today for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case. 1-800-872-5925.

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