Top Common Labor Complications and Why They May be Due to Medical Malpractice

How to Know if Labor and Delivery Complications are Due to Minnesota Medical Malpractice


Labor and delivery is one of the most traumatic times of a newborn’s life and of a mother’s life.  There are many processes happening all at one time.  These processes are very important during childbirth.  This is why there are many risks and complications associated with childbirth for both the baby and the mother.  Some of these complications are normal or may be caused by unavoidable consequences.  However, other complications are due to a medical provider’s oversight or even negligence causing a Minnesota birth injury.


Here are some of the most common labor and delivery complications which may be caused by Minnesota medical malpractice:


1. Fetal Distress – fetal distress is when the fetus is under duress due to a complication, disease, disorder, or some other undue stress during the pregnancy, labor, or delivery process.  Fetal distress can happen at any time.  Some common examples of fetal distress include the following:


  • Oxygen deprivation due to position of the baby or cord, a cord rupture, or prolonged contractions;
  • Hypertension in the baby;
  • Rapid and irregular heart rate;
  • Meconium in the amniotic fluid (meconium is the baby’s feces);
  • Extreme movements or hesitations in the womb;
  • Low levels of amniotic fluid; and
  • Other causes.


Fetal distress is something that the medical team must monitor and constantly check to keep the baby and mother safe.  When there is fetal distress, a medical team must also work quickly to protect the baby’s life.  This is because many of these symptoms of fetal distress can result in serious birth defects or abnormalities.  Failing to monitor or delays in handling fetal distress can be a Minneapolis birth injury due to medical negligence.


2. Perinatal asphyxia – this is a condition where the baby is not receiving adequate oxygenation.  This can result in hypoxemia (low oxygen levels in the blood) and acidosis (high acid levels in the blood).  Both of these conditions can cause irreparable damage to a baby’s body and organs, particularly the brain.  Low oxygen levels during a child’s labor and delivery can also result in cerebral palsy and other traumatic brain injuries to a child.


3. Failure to progress – this is when the baby is not lowering down from the pelvis and through the birth canal.  The longer the mother and baby are in labor, the greater the stress on both.  This prolonged stress on a baby can cause trauma and even result in serious personal injury, particularly shoulder dystocia or brain damage.  Causes of a prolonged labor include slow cervical dilation or effacement, a large baby, a small birth canal or pelvis, and other stress factors.  When these conditions are present and the baby is exhibiting the signs of fetal distress, an emergency c-section should be ordered to safely remove the baby.  A failure to do so can result in life-threatening injuries to the baby and mother due to Minnesota birth injuries.


4. Shoulder dystocia – this is when the baby’s arm is pulled or pushed into a compromising position which can result in serious brachial plexus nerve injuries.  These nerves originate from the spinal cord and traveling distally through the shoulder, down the arm, into the hands, and to the tips of the fingers.  When the shoulder of a baby is pulled, twisted, or pushed in a certain way, it can stretch out these nerves and either severe or yank them out of their roots in the spinal cord.  This can result in decreased sensation or no sensation, or an inability to move or flex.  Many times shoulder dystocia is due to medical malpractice because, if the child could not be readjusted or rotated in the birth canal, or if the child could not safely fit through the birth canal, the baby should have been delivered through a c-section.


5. Poor Placenta Placement (Placenta previa) – this is where the placenta covers the opening of the cervix and can block or inhibit the baby’s way through the birth canal.  This is because the placenta could wrap around the baby or tie up the baby in a way to prevent a normal birth.  The placenta could also rupture and result in a life-threatening emergency to the baby.  When the placenta is blocking the cervix, a baby should be delivered via c-section.  Failing to due so or failing to identify this condition can be medical malpractice.


Did You Have Complications During the Labor and Delivery of Your Baby?  Find Out if it Was Due to Medical Malpractice Here


All pregnancies and deliveries can be complicated.  There are many normal risks and complications that will always be there.  But there are some risks and complications which are not always there and are actually caused by medical mistakes or negligence.  When these occur, a healthcare provider may be liable for a child’s birth injuries.


If you had any complications during your pregnancy and your child suffered any type of birth injury, call to schedule a FREE appointment to determine whether it may have been caused by Minnesota medical malpractice.  We accept cases throughout Minnesota, including Minneapolis, St. Paul, Rochester, Duluth, or any other city.  Please call Kuhlman Law, LLC by dialing (612) 444-3374 to learn what your rights to compensation you may have.  You may also contact us using our easy and convenient “contact us” box at the bottom of our website.  If we accept your case, we will conduct a thorough investigation to get you the answers you deserve, all for free.  There is no risk, and you only pay us if we recover compensation for you.


We also handle cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton, and Hillsboro.  Our Oregon office number is (541) 385-1999.  

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