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Natural Childbirth Organizations Growing in Popularity

The Dispatch posted this week on the growth of popularity in “natural childbirth” organizations. The Chicago birth injury lawyers at our firm appreciate that many local residents participate in these sorts of organization in our area as well. These organizations usually focus on sharing information with expectant mothers about the potential use of midwives, “doulas,” and other alternatives to the traditional birth in the hospital process.

The increasing popularity includes more public support for these groups. For example, the Columbus Dispatch reported this week on grants that were recently doled out to local groups supporting natural childbirth options. A Blue Cross Blue Shield grant program recently provided funds to the natural childbirth organization for their work helping mothers learn about alternatives to hospital births.

One organization, Organic Mothers, is seeking to share information about the prevalence of unnecessary C-section births. We have often discussed the increasing use of C-sections in situations where it may not be necessary. However, while those C-section rates must be investigated, we have worked on many cases where doctors fail to perform a timely C-section, resulting in severe birth injuries to a child that might otherwise be prevented. It is important that each of these situations be handled on a case-by-case basis. Not all C-section are necessary, but doctors are still required to perform these emergency surgical births when the situation demands it.

Birth Injury Lawsuits
Each Illinois birth injury attorney at our firm appreciates that the choice on how the give birth is a very personal one. There is not necessarily a right or wrong answer in all cases, and local families are best served when fully informed of all options and risks before deciding what makes the most sense in their individual case.

From a legal perspective, the format of the birth may have implications both on who can be held accountable if something goes wrong and how much the wrongdoer may be able to compensate those hurt when mistakes are made.

In a traditional hospital setting, if the caregivers fail to provide a reasonable standard of care during the birth, resulting in a birth injury, the medical professional and hospital can usually be held accountable. Those actors have medical malpractice insurance which exists specifically for those situations to compensate the children and their family.

Alternative birthing options-like an at-home birth with a midwife-may present some differences. As an initial matter, families should remember that they always have the option to file a lawsuit against those whose negligence causes them harm-such as a midwife. However, it is important for local residents to be aware of their own midwife’s ability to pay for potential complications if errors are made. There are different types of midwives, and each may present different liability risks for mothers. In Illinois, “lay midwives” are technically banned, meaning that only those with proper certifications are able to perform the service. At the end of the day it is vital for local residents to fully research their options and chose a birthing professional that has a solid track-record.

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