Water Birth Injuries

“Water birth” is a process in which women give birth while partially immersed in a pool of water. Proponents say that water births have many advantages, including helping the mother relax and conserve her energy, reducing the need for drugs and other interventions, and speeding up labor. Some people claim that water birth also gives infants a gentler and less traumatic entry into the world. While water births make up a small percentage of births in the Portland area and throughout the United States, they are growing in popularity.

The process of a water birth has undeniable risks. Hospitals aggressively market water birth as a natural method but often fail to warn the expectant mothers of the many risks involved. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) states that water birth is unreasonably dangerous and recommends that it not be attempted except on an experimental basis. Concerns about complications from water births include:

  • Increased risk of infection in the newborn or mother
  • Difficulties with the newborn's thermoregulation, or ability to maintain core temperature
  • Umbilical cord avulsion (also known as “cord snapping”) and umbilical cord rupture leading to serious hemorrhage and shock
  • Respiratory distress in the newborn resulting from aspiration of tub water (drowning or near drowning)
  • Seizures and perinatal asphyxia
  • Increased risk of jaundice
  • Increased risk of cerebral palsy and other birth injuries

Hospitals often provide midwives for water birth delivery rather than an OB/GYN. This further increases the risk of this dangerous procedure. A hospital or medical facility is required to warn the mothers of these risks, including the risk of using a midwife, and advise the mother of the alternatives. Failure to provide these warnings can be negligence constituting medical malpractice.

Water birth is also contraindicated in some situations, such as pre-term labor, a mother with a fever or an untreated blood or skin infection, or any condition which requires continuous fetal heart monitoring. Even if there are no health-related contraindications, though, an unclean facility or untrained care provider can lead to water birth injuries.

Portland, Oregon Water Birth Injury Attorney

The Fraser Law Firm P.C. has handled many cases of obstetric malpractice resulting in birth injuries. We understand how traumatic it is when one of the most joyful days of your life suddenly becomes filled with pain, loss, and fear.

Few personal injury law firms in Portland or elsewhere in Oregon are equipped to handle obstetric malpractice matters. Fewer still are able to deal with the relatively new legal area of water birth injuries. At The Fraser Law Firm P.C., we are experienced litigators with connections to the most knowledgeable medical experts in the field.

Success in a water birth injury case means more than just achieving a good financial recovery for our clients. To us, success means restoring to clients a sense of control over their lives and hope for the future.

Water Birth Injury Attorney Helping Families in Portland and Throughout Oregon

If you or your baby were injured as a result of a water birth that took place despite medical contraindications, without your informed consent, or in unsanitary conditions, you may be eligible to be compensated for your loss. The obstetric malpractice and water birth injury attorney at The Fraser Law Firm P.C. will walk you through a thorough analysis of your case, and help you explore your options for recovery against the care provider who injured you.

The Fraser Law Firm P.C. serves families in Portland and the surrounding areas, working with clients throughout Oregon. Contact us at (971) 266-8877. We look forward to working with you.