Childbirth is supposedly a joyous occasion and a fulfilling accomplishment for women. While their physical health and their baby’s overall wellbeing would be priorities during this time, it doesn’t mean that their psychological health should not be taken care of. An article written by St. Louis Post-Dispatch online reporter Michele Munz shows how some women suffer traumatic childbirths that make the experience more of a nightmare instead of a rewarding life event.
New mothers are expected to be grateful and joyful. But research suggests as many as 30 percent of women experience debilitating traumatic stress after childbirth, and nearly a third of those may suffer Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, according to Prevention and Treatment of Traumatic Birth, a collective of birth and mental health experts whose mission is to increase awareness about the under-recognized issue.
In the story featured by Munz, the main issue was informed consent (or the lack of it). While Erin Shetler, a Harvester, MO resident, was giving birth, the doctor performed various interventions that she was not aware of and did not agree to. As a result, Shetler was deeply traumatized and developed PTSD symptoms weeks after the event.
Although there were no maternity care violations in Shelter’s case (according to the state’s licensing board), similar scenarios could happen to Long Islanders, and there could be possible lawsuits involved. If you or someone you know has experienced a traumatic childbirth and postpartum PTSD that may have been caused by irregular childbirth methods, you can consult a Long Island medical malpractice lawyer to review your case.
Aside from not receiving enough information nor the chance to decide for themselves, other women giving birth experience different forms of negligence or receive unnecessary treatments. Some mothers, for instance, say that their health care practitioners ignore their requests for pain relief or pressure them into getting a C-section without giving a convincing reason why. When these things happen, the women may feel that they are losing control and may suffer from the processes of childbirth.
Not every postpartum PTSD stems from medical malpractice. However, if you feel that your health care team displayed unprofessionalism or performed inappropriate procedures, you have to seek legal representation. Long Island medical malpractice lawyers who are familiar with birth injuries, such as The Law Offices of Joseph Lichtenstein, can help determine if you have a case, arrange for settlements or litigation if applicable, and assert your rights.
(Source: In traumatic childbirth, women say healthy baby isn’t only thing that matters, stltoday.com, September 4, 2014)