An interesting extended interview in the Huffington Post this week talks about an issue that is likely important to mothers across the country: How does mental health affect childbirth? In our work with families whose children have suffered significant injury as a result of mistakes during delivery, most our of focus is naturally on the standards of care that doctors and other medical professionals are required to exhibit during the process. The laws hinge on those issues, and so understanding those dynamics is critical to evaluating birth injury lawsuits.
Yet, we appreciate that many different factors play a role in these situations as well. All comprehensive investigations into birth injuries, complications, and the long-term health impact of the mother and child must take everything into account–including the often forgotten issues of mental health. The latest article offers a wide-ranging discussion of these issues and it worth a read.
Childbirth & Mood
The author–a documentary filmaker and worldwide birthing safety advocate–discusses how one confusing issue related to birth injuries and complications invovles mental health particularly perinatal mood disorders and postpartum depression. In an interview with a medical doctor, the story reveals that these mood disorders are incredibly common even though they remain somewhat forgotten. The doctor admitted that, “perinatal mood disorders have been named the most common complication associated with childbirth.”
The doctor goes on to note that mental health issues are often neglected because there are other more pressing concerns regarding childbirth needs. Understandably, that is particularly true in the developing world, where access to even basic healthcare during childbirth is a struggle. It is reasonable that issues of perinatel mood disorders and postpartum depression are less of a focus in places where getting adequate food and water each day is a struggle. Yet, at the same time, the expert notes that it is a mistake to discount both the short and long-term consequences of these mental health issues of the mother and child. This is true during the pregnancy, chilbirth, and in the early years of the child’s development.
The maternal care expert interviewed for the story explained, that her “longtime concern, however, is that we have not widened the […] conversation to include the mental wellbeing of the mother and her offspring. If a mother isn’t thriving psychologically, her baby experiences the ramifications.”
Few things are more important to local families that ensuring they are able to have happy and healthy younger generations. This goal is true no matter where one lives, from here in Chicago to the far corners of the world. At the end of the day, the basic principles that make that goal most likely to occur are the same everywhere. Those principles include medical care free of neglect and maternal suppor that takes all issues (including mental health concerns) into account. It is important that local families do everything in their power to ensure they receive comprehensive care.
That includes proper prenatal and postnatal care. Sadly, many pregant women in our community do not receive the care they need during their pregnancy. It is not uncommon for some mothers to have little to no guidance or support during the pregnancy itself. In addition, in some cases, mistakes may even be made during the delivery. When made by medical professionals violating the standard of care, those mistakes might be signs of medical malpractice. In those cases, the affected mothers have legal rights to ensure accountability and redress to help themselves and their children recover from any harm suffered.
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