Having a child is supposed to be a joyous occasion. However, it is important to remember that having a child also comes with very real risks to both the mother and child. Some of these risks are inherent with any invasive medical procedure but, in the case of childbirth, there are many risks that can be created by those taking care of the mother and child.


Testing Risks 

At the very outset of pregnancy, a newly expecting mother will find out very quickly that impending motherhood comes with a huge number of medical tests. While many of these are non-invasive and carry little risk of injury to the mother or child, some are invasive and carry a risk. Often, in high-risk pregnancies, these tests are used to determine the health of the fetus including diagnosing genetic conditions and the existence of potential birth defects. Many of these tests are quite invasive and carry the risk of injury to both the mother and unborn baby.  Some of the more invasive tests include:

  • Amniocentesis (where the amniotic fluid is sampled)
  • Chorionic villus sampling(where a sample of the placenta is taken for testing)
  • Percutaneous umbilical cord blood sampling (where blood is taken from the umbilical cord for testing)
  • Embryoscopy and fetoscopy (where the fetus is visualized by camera)

These tests carry risk of miscarriage and mechanical injury to both the baby and the mother.


Advised Consent

Since so much of the pregnancy and birthing process carries some inherent risk, advised consent is an important concept. Advised consent is the process wherein a patient is given adequate information about a medical procedure or testing process so that she can make an informed decision as to first, what the relative risks are and second, what the risk to benefit ratio is. For example, if a woman carries a risk factor that potentially causes a birth defect in 1 in 10,000 pregnancies but she is informed that a chorionic villus sampling test carries a miscarriage rate of 1 in 100, she is then put in a position to decide appropriately according to her own risk-benefit determination. However, if she is not given the information and an injury occurs, the medical professional may be liable for the injury for failing to obtain advised consent.


There is no doubt that having a child is both joyous and potentially dangerous. The medical professionals who help a woman through the process are charged with maintaining a standard of care that helps ensure a healthy mother and baby. Sometimes, they fail to meet this standard of care, either through their actions (for example, too much force applied at birth) or their inaction (failing to advise of potential risks). When injuries occur through the fault of medical professionals, both mother and baby deserve to have their rights protected. If you find yourself in this situation, the experienced legal professionals at Power & Power Law in Anchorage are here to be your advocate. Give us a call today at 907-222-9990 or toll free at 833-669-9990 or click hereto set up your initial consultation and put us to work helping you get the results you deserve.