Good prenatal care can help reduce pregnancy problems like gestational diabetes and preeclampsia
It is medical negligence when OB/GYN doctors fail to do appropriate prenatal screening and testing
Finding out that you are going to have a baby is one of the happiest moments in life. It is really hard to explain unless you have experienced it.
In my career as a Houston, Texas medical malpractice attorney, it saddens me to hear the stories of new clients whose baby has suffered a brain or other serious injury during labor, delivery, and birth. We work hard on behalf of our clients to investigate what happened and, if negligence was involved, pursue a lawsuit to help meet the health care and other needs of the child.
While no man can really understand what a woman goes through during pregnancy, as a father of four, I believe that I have a pretty good vantage point. A mother’s body goes through many changes that allow that new life to grow from fertilization all the way up to the cuddly baby that we meet for the first time in the hospital after delivery.
Experts recommend that you see an OB/GYN physician as soon as you think you might be pregnancy and to start prenatal care at that time. These doctors are specially-trained to know what to look out for in terms of pregnancy-related complications that could put the mother and baby at risk.
One of these conditions is gestational diabetes mellitus, which is a disease that develops in women who did not have diabetes before they were pregnant. Around 3-5% of pregnant women develop this condition. As in other forms of diabetes, with gestational diabetes, pregnant women have high glucose or sugar levels hyperglycemia.
Because women can have gestational diabetes even without any symptoms, the best way to identify it is with good prenatal care, when an OB/GYN doctor orders blood work to diagnose it.
With early diagnosis and proper care, a doctor can usually prevent gestational diabetes from becoming a problem for the mother and baby. Without treatment, it can lead to dangerous complications like jaundice (the baby’s skin and whites of the eyes turn yellow) and macrosomia (a large baby size).
Uncontrolled gestational diabetes also increases the mother’s risk for developing a potentially deadly condition called preeclampsia. The classic appearance of preeclampsia is a sudden rise in the mother’s blood pressure, which can get so high that it can cause a seizure, stroke, and even failure of multiple organs.
I have handled a number of cases where expectant mothers went to an OB/GYN early-on in pregnancy for prenatal care, but proper screening and testing were not done. Unfortunately, some OB/GYN practices seem to be run more like a fast-moving assembly line, rather than a medical practice.
As you attend prenatal appointments, I recommend talking with your doctor about what tests are being ordered. Jot a note about the lab work and tests and, on the next appointment, ask about the results. This can help prevent important data from falling through the cracks during your pregnancy.
We are here to help
If you or someone you care for has experienced a pregnancy ending in a birth-related injury, Painter Law Firm’s experienced medical malpractice lawyers are here to help. Call 281-580-8800, for a free evaluation of your potential case. We will talk to you about what happened and then investigate the case to see if medical negligence was at fault.
Robert Painter is a medical malpractice attorney at Painter Law Firm PLLC, in Houston, Texas. He represents injured patients and their families in medical negligence and wrongful death cases.
Robert Painter is a medical malpractice lawyer at Painter Law Firm PLLC.
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Published in the July/August 2018 edition of "The Houston Lawyer" magazine