Get Prenatal Care
It is extremely important to get prenatal care with your doctor during your pregnancy. This includes taking care of yourself by eating right, not smoking or drinking alcohol, taking prenatal vitamins, and attending all doctor's visits. This is especially important if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, prior pregnancy complications, infections or other medical conditions.
Consider the Risks of Induction and Find Out Your Dcotor's Policy on Pitocin
Some doctors and hospitals use a drug called Pitocin to speed up labor and contractions. Some moms want to have induced labor because they are tired of being in labor. You need to consider the medical reasons and risks for inducing labor. Pitocin is considered a high risk drug that can speed up contractions too much and it increases the risk of brain damage or other injury to the baby. For more information, google "Pitocin" to find out about induced labor and risks of using Pitocin.
Have One or More Family Members with Mom at All Times
Mom (or any family member) in the hospital should never be left alone--especially at night. Mistakes often happen when patients are ignored. A family member or two should be present at all times in case mom needs immediate help from a nurse or doctor. Family members or friends should be there to make sure the nurses or doctors are reminded of (1) medical issues like allergies to penicillin or (2) an alarm going off on the fetal monitor or (3) a mom having difficulty breathing.
Double Check Any IV or Medication You Are Given
Make sure mom or another family member asks why the IV or medication is being given, the name of the medication and the dose of the medication. Sometimes simple errors such as a switch in medication or the wrong dose can be fatal.
Be Persistent With Nurses and Doctors
If a nurse or doctor is not providing you with answers or ignoring you, ask for a supervisor. Do not be afraid to seek help from others. There is nothing more important than your health and your baby's health.
Seek Legal Help if You or Your Baby Has Suffered a Serious and Permanent Injury
Most medical malpractice attorneys will meet with you for free if you or your baby has suffered a serious and permanent injury from labor and delivery. Make sure the attorney you speak with is qualified and has handled birth injury cases in the past. Birth injury cases are specialized and require attorneys who have experience in these cases.