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Negligence in Prenatal Care

Updated April 21, 2021 | By Wilson Kehoe Winingham staff

What is Prenatal Care?

Prenatal care is the health care you receive while pregnant–including checkups, prenatal testing, and vaccinations. It can help keep you and your baby healthy, assist in detecting and preventing birth injuries, and aid in treating health concerns early on.

When a mother does not receive prenatal care, her child is three times more likely to have a low birthweight and five times more likely to die as a result. Regular prenatal care can reduce the risk of pregnancy complications, reduce the infant’s risk for complications, and help ensure that the medications women take are safe.

How Often Should I Schedule Prenatal Care Appointments?

You should start getting prenatal care as soon as you are pregnant, but it’s even better to see a doctor before you get pregnant (pre-pregnancy care or preconception planning). The frequency of your prenatal care will be determined by how far along you are and how high your risk is for complications. However, the typical prenatal care schedule is:

  • Every 4 to 6 weeks for the first 32 weeks
  • Every 2 to 3 weeks for the 32nd week through the 37th week
  • Every week from the 37th week to delivery

What Happens During Prenatal Visits?

During your first prenatal visit, your doctor should:

  • Ask about your health history
  • Ask about your family’s health history
  • Complete a physical exam, pelvic exam, pap test, and breast exam
  • Test your blood and urine
  • Check your blood pressure, breathing, and pulse
  • Check your height and weight
  • Calculate your due date

During later prenatal visits, your doctor should:

  • Check your blood pressure
  • Measure your weight gain
  • Measure your baby’s growth
  • Check your baby’s heart rate
  • Provide any necessary testing

What is Considered Negligent Prenatal Care?

It is the doctor’s responsibility to actively monitor and treat prenatal care patients, and failure to do so could result in permanent injuries or even death for both mothers and infants. Negligence in prenatal care may include:

  • Failure to run appropriate tests
  • Failure to diagnose or properly manage a contagious disease
  • Failure to identify a birth defect
  • Failure to identify an ectopic pregnancy

Contact a Birth Injury Attorney Today

If you believe that your child has been injured as a result of negligent prenatal care, your first step is to reach out to a birth injury lawyer. An Indianapolis birth injury lawyer and staff can help you build a case and get you and your child the help you need.

With a strong and trustworthy attorney, you’ll have someone advocating for what’s rightfully yours. Contact Wilson Kehoe Winingham for a consultation to decide how to best move forward with your case. Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

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