Even in perfectly normal pregnancies, complications can arise when it comes time to deliver the baby. The timing of labor is actually very important. If the baby comes too early, it can suffer severe complications and medical issues, but if the pregnancy goes too long, the placenta can stop working properly, leading to birth injuryas well.
A pregnancy is considered full-term at 37 weeks. Any birth that takes place before 37 weeks gestation is considered preterm. Usually a baby born after 35 weeks suffers no medical problems, so labor is not stopped from 35 weeks on.
Sometimes labor begins on its own, either due to a medical problem the mother or baby may have, or for no reason whatsoever. Only about 10% of women deliver on their due date, although 90% of women deliver within 2 weeks of their due date. Early in the pregnancy, an ultrasound is done to try and determine the length of the pregnancy to date. Ultrasounds done in mid-pregnancy, or late pregnancy are less effective at determining the length of the pregnancy.
Premature rupture of the membranes happens when the amniotic fluid around the baby begins leaking out before the start of labor. Once the membranes rupture (or, in more common terms, the water breaks), the mother must soon deliver the baby. Usually labor follows soon after anyway, but sometimes it must be assisted. If the baby is not delivered between 24 and 48 hours after the membranes rupture, the mother and baby are at an increased rate for infection. The woman is usually hospitalized after her membranes rupture, and antibiotics are started.
Doctors in New York City and Queens are aware of these kinds of complications.
Usually the membranes rupture during labor, but in 10% of normal labor cases, the membranes rupture before actual labor starts. If rupture is preterm (before 37 weeks) then the delivery is likely to be preterm as well. Premature membrane rupture also raises the risk of abnormal positioning for the baby, as well as placental abruption (when the placenta detaches from the uterus before the baby has been delivered.)
Labor usually begins 12 to 48 hours after the rupture of membranes in full-term (or near-term) women. In premature deliveries, however, it can take four or more days for labor to begin (especially in women less than 34 weeks). The flow of amniotic fluid after the water ‘breaks’ can vary from a steady flow to a slight trickle, sometimes making it difficult to diagnose. If the woman suspects that her membranes have ruptured, she should contact her doctor or midwife immediately to avoid birth injury.
Nothing is more devastating to parents than to learn their newborn child has suffered an injury, disability, or death. The news is even more heartbreaking when parents discover the injury was preventable. New York Birth Injury Attorney has held many negligent medical staff and hospitals accountable and we are here to help you recover your life.