Fetal distress: Did your New York doctor miss the signs?

You might say you and your obstetrician have a close working relationship during pregnancy. It’s always best if expectant moms regularly attend their prenatal visits. Your doctor knows just what to do and say during those visits to check your progress and make sure your baby’s safe and healthy.

There are certain signs of fetal distress that the average licensed obstetrician and prenatal medical team should recognize. What happens once such signs are noticed depends on the exact circumstances of a particular situation. Your doctor may simply want to closely monitor you and your baby, or he or she might order you to bed rest or even admit you to the hospital if an urgent problem arises.

Symptoms that are definite causes for concern

Many times, fetal distress symptoms prompt a need for a quick birth, perhaps by Cesarean section. Your baby’s life and your own good health might hinge on how quick thinking and fast acting your doctor is. The following list shows numerous issues that would suggest your baby may not be progressing toward delivery as well as hoped:

  • If your baby isn’t moving as often as your doctor thinks he or she should be, it is definitely a cause for concern.
  • As soon as your doctor can detect your child’s heartbeat, it should be strong every time thereafter.
  • A decreased heart rate or change in fetal movement patterns may signify that something is not right, and your baby might be in distress.
  • If your child is healthy and you have been pregnant more than 23 or 25 weeks, he or she should kick about 10 times every two hours.
  • If your water breaks and there is meconium stain in the fluid, it is a sign that your baby has experienced fetal distress.

While these and other fetal distress issues are causes for concern, an infant may experience one or more of these problems at a time. Your doctor and medical team know how to kick it into gear to help your child overcome distress or be born as quickly as possible, if necessary. An experienced obstetrician can often successfully birth a baby by c-section in under a minute if needed.

Did you or your child suffer injury?

Your safety and health, as well as your child’s, lies in the hands of your caregivers before, during and following childbirth. If your doctor, a nurse, a midwife or any medical team member is negligent, it can have serious, lasting and even fatal consequences.

Many New York parents file medical malpractice lawsuits to seek financial recovery for their losses when pregnancy, labor or delivery results in serious maternal or fetal injuries.