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Babies are not the only ones to suffer birth injuries

By Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo Plotkin & Hellman LLP

Giving birth is by far one of the most beautiful things a person can experience. It is also one of the most traumatic. According to a new study done by the University of Michigan, roughly 15 percent of women sustain some type of pelvic injury during childbirth.

Diagnosing a mother’s injuries

The study done at the University of Michigan suggests that healthcare providers should start using MRI scans to detect injuries that mothers suffer during the birthing process. The thought behind this suggestion is that an MRI, while usually reserved for sports injury detection, is a more adequate means of detecting pelvic injuries related to childbirth, since childbirth is just as, if not more traumatic to a woman’s body than sports.

Healing time estimates

Research related to this study has found that women can take up to eight months to fully heal after childbirth, which is a far cry from the typical six weeks that most OBGYN doctors suggest. In many cases, women that suffer some type of pelvic injury know that there is something not right but are simply told to practice Kegel exercises.

The study tracked a group of women during their pregnancy who were found to be at high risk of pelvic injuries. A team of radiologists, midwives, and obstetricians used MRI scans to identify pelvic injuries after childbirth and record their healing time. While it has historically been the belief of OBGYN’s that postpartum pelvic pain was caused by nerve-to-muscle strain, the MRI revealed something quite different.

Injuries associated with childbirth

One-quarter of the women studied showed small pelvic bone fractures and fluid in the bone marrow. Another two-thirds presented with fluid in the muscle. An astounding 41 percent suffered partial to full pelvic muscle tears. The findings show these injuries are more related to sports injuries than something a simple Kegel routine could heal.

This study was done to show that the old one-size-fits-all approach to postpartum healthcare should no longer be the standard. Treating all women with the same protocol opens doctors up to malpractice claims and women up to long-term issues and chronic pain. For women that have suffered a birth injury and went untreated despite their concerns, speaking to a birth injury attorney may help them get the compensation and care they need to recover.

Source: MichiganNews, “Childbirth an athletic event? Sports medicine used to diagnose injuries caused by deliveries,” Laura Bailey, Dec. 1, 2015

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