Birth Injuries to Mother

Claim Compensation for Birth Injuries to Mother

Find out how our birth injuries to mother negligence solicitors can help you with your claim.

Contact us

Contact

  • “Osbornes have specific expertise regarding birth negligence cases, including those which involve cerebral palsy and Erb’s palsy injuries.”

  • “Stephanie is absolutely fantastic. She works incredibly hard for her clients and has a great deal of compassion.”

Birth Injury to Mother Claims

Around 9 in 10 women suffer some form of injury during childbirth. Most are a natural part of having a baby, such as minor tears and bruising that heal naturally soon after the baby is born. Some birth injuries are more serious and can have long-term consequences, both physical and psychological. When these injuries are caused by medical mismanagement, it can result in a compensation claim.

Medical negligence claims for maternal birth injuries

Doctors and midwives have a duty of care to ensure that birthing mothers are kept safe during the delivery process. Unfortunately, mistakes and oversights can occur, resulting in unnecessary harm to mothers. The effect of childbirth injuries are very personal, but can include:

  • Physical injuries that cause changes to bodily functions or long-lasting pain
  • Psychological trauma, such as postnatal depression
  • Time away from work and additional medical expenses
  • Difficulty bonding with the baby

If you are worried about the care you received during childbirth, you may be entitled to claim compensation. Our birth injury specialists understand what you’re going through and can provide expert guidance and advice.

Types of birth injuries to mothers

Here are the most common types of birth injuries to mothers and their implications.

Vaginal tears and failed episiotomy

Vaginal tears can occur naturally during childbirth when the vagina does not stretch enough to accommodate the baby’s head. Tear injuries range in severity:

  • First-degree tears are skin-deep and self-healing
  • Second-degree tears are deeper and may require stitches, but normally will heal in a few weeks
  • Third and fourth-degree tears are more serious and can involve damage to surrounding tissue, including the rectum or anal sphincter. They can lead to incontinence, scarring, pain and rectovaginal fistula, where the tear allows faeces to pass through into the vagina.

Medical professionals use a range of interventions to reduce the risk of major tearing. A common option is an episiotomy, a controlled incision that creates more room for the baby to pass through and thus reduces the risk of an uncontrolled tear. However, if the episiotomy is done incorrectly, it can lead to further tears and increased complications.

It is also possible for a tear to go unnoticed, leading to long-term pain or incontinence problems.

Care of the perineum forms part of the postnatal follow-up. If a tear or episiotomy is not properly managed, then the mother may need another procedure to correct the damage, causing additional stress and discomfort.

Postnatal depression and post-traumatic stress disorder

The birth process can be an extremely traumatic experience for some mothers. A negative experience, even if not directly related to medical negligence, can lead to postnatal depression (PND) or postnatal post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These conditions can be serious and long-lasting if left untreated.

UK guidelines recommend that midwives and GPs screen for PND, PTSD and related mental health conditions. It’s common for women to feel a bit down in the first few days after giving birth, but medical professionals should be on the lookout for signs that go beyond the ‘baby blues’ and signpost women to the correct treatment. Symptoms include sleeplessness, lack of energy, feeling anxious, appetite changes, feelings of guilt and self-blame and indifference to the baby.

Post-Partum Haemorrhage

Post-partum haemorrhage (PPH) is an excessive loss of blood (more than 1500mls) after childbirth. There are two types:

  • Primary PPH where about a pint of blood is lost within 24 hours of the baby’s birth. This happens in about 5% of pregnancies.
  • Secondary PPH which causes continuous heavy bleeding and affects less than 2% of women. It is normally the result of uterine damage – for example, where a mother was allowed to push for too long so the uterus is too weak to contract back once delivery is complete. It can also be caused by an infection during or immediately following delivery.

PPH can be life-threatening. Medical staff are trained to spot the signs, such as continuous bleeding, faintness and a rapid heart rate, and treat it quickly.

Ruptured uterus

A ruptured uterus happens when the wall of the uterus tears during delivery. It commonly occurs in women who have had a previous caesarean section and then go on to have a vaginal birth. It is also possible but rare for ruptures to happen without any prior surgery.

Ruptured uteruses present an obvious risk to both the mother and baby, as the mother may lose a lot of blood and the baby can be cut off from a vital oxygen supply. Medical professionals must monitor both closely during delivery and be prepared to act quickly if a rupture is suspected. An urgent caesarean section and surgical uterine repair may be necessary, and the mother may need a blood transfusion. A hysterectomy may be recommended in very severe cases.

Pelvic organ prolapse

The most common type of pelvic organ prolapse is the descent of the uterus and cervix. This happens when the ligaments that hold the organs in place become weakened, usually due to a long and difficult labour. Prolapse is not usually life-threatening but can be uncomfortable and cause difficulty with normal activities and pain during sex. Other organs such as the bladder, bowel or rectum can descend in some cases.

Many prolapses can be managed through pelvic floor exercises and other non-invasive treatments. However, a serious prolapse may require surgical repair or removal of the womb, which means the woman can no longer have children.

Medical negligence claims for maternal birth injuries

If you have suffered a birth injury and believe it was due to improper care, you may have a claim for compensation. To make a claim, you need to show that a medical professional breached their duty of care, leading to the injury. This could be due to:

  • Mistakes made in diagnosis, monitoring or treatment
  • Failing to act on signs of distress
  • Inappropriate use of forceps, ventouse or surgery
  • Failing to deliver appropriate advice or information during follow-up appointments.

The first step is to get advice from a specialist birth injury solicitor. The team at Osbornes will review your case and advise you on the best course of action for getting the compensation you deserve. We understand the complexity of birth injury negligence cases and will help you to get the recognition and justice you need.

Speak to us about a Birth Injury to Mother

For a free initial conversation call 020 7485 8811

Email us Send us an email and we’ll get back to you






    • Stephanie Prior is head of the clinical negligence department at Osbornes Law. She acts on a wide range of issues, including claims for brain injuries sustained at birth and delays in diagnosis. She frequently represents clients in fatal claims involving surgical error.

      Chambers UK 2023

    • "Stephanie Prior is the leading spokesperson on the high profile maternity scandal cases involving many NHS Trusts."

      Legal 500 2023

    • Stephanie has developed a particularly strong reputation for her handling of birth injury claims, as well as cases concerning surgical negligence and delays in surgery.

      Chambers UK

    Birth Injury to Mother Insights & Client Stories VIEW ALL

    1. 5.1.2024

      Delayed Pre-Eclampsia Diagnosis Resulting in Tragic Baby Loss

      Introduction to the Case Nick Leahy, Associate in our Clinical Negligence department, has recently settled a birth injury claim against...

      Read more
    2. 23.11.2023

      Claim against Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

      Osbornes acted for a Claimant, C, in her birth negligence claim against Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for negligent...

      Read more
    3. baby
      31.8.2023

      Hyponatraemia – Symptoms, Causes & Negligence

      What is hyponatraemia? Hyponatraemia is a condition where sodium levels fall below a certain level, which can be dangerous. All...

      Read more
    4. pregnant lady
      23.3.2023

      Private Pregnancy Scans and Substandard Care

      In the news, it has been reported that private clinics that offer pregnancy scans to women are not meeting the...

      Read more
    5. baby hand in mothers hand
      7.3.2023

      5-figure settlement for infusion leak to mother

      Elline Demetriou has reached another successful outcome for a Claimant, who pursued a post C-section birth injury to mother claim...

      Read more
    6. water
      9.2.2023

      Perineal Tear case settles for 6-figure sum

      Stephanie Prior recently settled a claim relating to a woman who delivered her baby after a traumatic labour. Her son...

      Read more
    7. pregnant lady making a heart shape
      2.10.2022

      Tragic Case Involving a Home Water Birth

      Introduction to the case Nicholas Leahy is acting for a young woman who had a water birth at home and...

      Read more
    8. Hospital sign MATERNITY
      21.9.2022

      Are maternity services safe? – Part 2

      In April last year I wrote a piece about government setting up a taskforce to look into why there are...

      Read more
    9. Pregnant woman performing cardiotocography CTG
      8.9.2022

      Poor interpretation of CTG can result in stillbirth...

      Poor interpretation of a Cardiotocograph, more commonly known as a CTG, is a leading cause of stillbirth and brain injuries...

      Read more
    10. child with blue paint on hands
      2.9.2022

      Mother & Baby Suffer Life-changing Injuries

      Claim after mother and baby suffered life-changing injuries during birth Jodi is acting for both mother and baby in a...

      Read more
    11. Medical doctor in empty hospital corridor
      1.8.2022

      Bereavement Following Treatment at Basildon Maternity Unit

      Stephanie Prior’s case relating to the death of Gabriela Pintilie has been settled and approved by the High Court....

      Read more
    12. doctor women at office
      29.6.2022

      Nottingham Maternity: Donna Ockenden to Chair Independent Inquiry

      An interim report on the state of maternity services at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust has just been released. However,...

      Read more
    13. 23.5.2022

      Successful Claim Against King’s College Hospitals

      The birth injury lawyers at Osbornes Law have recently negotiated the settlement of a case in which our client sustained...

      Read more
    14. Neglijenta medicala spital din UK
      23.2.2022

      Women from ethnic minorities experience worse maternity care

      It has been reported today that the government has set up a new task force to look into why there...

      Read more
    15. pregnant lady
      17.2.2022

      999 Call Handlers Maternity Instructions Report

      HSIB Report on Maternity Pre-arrival Instructions from 999 Call Handlers The Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (“HSIB”) investigate NHS maternity incidents that...

      Read more
    16. Pregnant Woman and Gynecologist Doctor at Hospit
      2.2.2022

      Lifelong Consequences for Newborn Baby

      Osbornes Law specialises in assisting families who have experienced birth injuries. We have represented families who have faced the loss...

      Read more
    17. cute kid with disability playing
      27.1.2022

      Six-figure claim allows family to move home

      Six-figure compensation payment for a client Jodi Newton has secured a six-figure compensation payment for her client with cerebral palsy....

      Read more
    18. lesiones de nacimiento
      24.1.2022

      Likely settlement of £15-20 million

      A client who suffered cerebral palsy injuries at birth was awarded £200,000 as an interim payment in a claim against NHS...

      Read more
    19. Pregnant woman holding blanket,
      12.1.2022

      Wrongful birth claim successfully settled

      Background Our client, J, fell pregnant in October 2015 and took the difficult decision to undergo a termination. She booked an...

      Read more
    20. Pregnant Woman and Gynecologist Doctor at Hospit
      2.1.2022

      Justice for Family Who Faced Loss of Newborn

      Osbornes Law specialises in assisting families who have experienced birth injuries. We have represented families who have faced the loss...

      Read more
    21. maternity sign
      17.11.2021

      NICE revises guidelines on Induced labour

      Most babies are born naturally at around 40 weeks gestation. However, some pregnancies continue for longer. According to data from the...

      Read more
    22. girl looking through binoculars
      2.10.2021

      Compensation supports rehabilitation and housing

      Six-figure sum supports rehabilitation and housing. Jodi achieved a six-figure sum compensation for her client with cerebral palsy. The financial...

      Read more
    23. hospital bed
      20.7.2021

      Osbornes Successfully Settle Wrongful Birth Claim

      Nicholas Leahy, clinical negligence lawyer at Osbornes Law has recently negotiated the successful settlement of a wrongful birth case. Our...

      Read more
    24. white lilies
      1.7.2021

      Stillbirth following water birth at home

      Nicholas Leahy acted for a young woman who had a water birth at home and two midwives were allocated to...

      Read more

    VIEW ALL

    Medical Negligence Accreditations

    • Times best law firm 2024
    • scil logo
    • legal 500 leading firm
    • chambers logo