Twin Pregnancies & the Risk of Birth Trauma
In recent decades, births of twins have become an increasingly common occurrence. According to the CDC, births of twins have grown 78% since 1980, with 123,536 twin births occurring in 2018 in the United States. For many expectant parents, finding out they’re expecting twins can be the most exciting news they ever hear in their lifetime. But when you’re carrying multiple babies, it’s very important to find a doctor who understands the needs of multiple pregnancies because these types of pregnancies can come with an increased risk of complications both during pregnancy and delivery.
All pregnancies come with their own risks for potential complications, but twins and other pregnancies of multiple babies have some very unique factors involved. For the mother, pregnancies with twins are more likely to result in problems like high blood pressure, postpartum hemorrhage, anemia, and gestational diabetes and some of those maternal health conditions can increase the risk of complications during delivery. Pregnancies of twins also have a higher chance of premature birth and low birth weight, making them more vulnerable to various types of trauma during delivery. Cerebral palsy is one type of birth injury often linked to premature births.
Pregnancies of twins are also more likely to have problems involving the umbilical cord or problems with levels of amniotic fluid. One condition known as twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS) can result in one child getting too much blood while the other doesn’t get enough and doctors should be closely watching for this since it is something that often can be addressed during pregnancy to prevent serious problems from forming. Intertwin umbilical cord entanglement and cord compression are other common complications in twin births which can restrict oxygen and increase the chances of brain injuries like hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE).
During delivery, it’s extremely important that doctors and other medical professionals be carefully monitoring the mother and the babies to look for signs of complications and distress so that action can be taken right away. In some cases, a scheduled C-section might be advisable when twins are involved to minimize the risk of serious injuries during delivery. Or if complications arise during delivery, appropriate actions need to be taken right away to help the babies be born as quickly as possible, such as by ordering an emergency C-section.
The most tragic thing about many cases of birth trauma is that, very often, they could have been avoided. If you believe your child was seriously injured because of a doctor’s mistake around the time of birth, whether you gave birth to twins or one baby, it’s extremely important to get in touch with a birth trauma lawyer as soon as possible to learn about your legal options. Even if your child is a few years old, you may still have time to get help. At Goodwin & Scieszka, you’ll be able to get help from an experienced Michigan-based lawyer. Contact us today for help with your case.
Credit: iStock / HannamariaH