Pregnancy is a very uncertain time for the average mother-to-be. Especially if this is your first pregnancy, it is reasonable to be nervous about the potential outcome. Women often execute drastic lifestyle changes during their pregnancy to avoid negative outcomes. These may include changes in diet, a decision to quit smoking or even altering exercise habits.
Some of the decisions you need to make during pregnancy may seem less obvious than others. For example, there is a large number of prescription medications that are safe for women but not safe for pregnancy. Your doctor should carefully monitor the medications you take to avoid consequences to your unborn child.
Your doctor should revisit each of your prescriptions when you become pregnant
There are medications that you may take without much risk regularly that are not safe to take during pregnancy. These can include everything from blood pressure medications to acne medicines. Even antidepressant drugs can have an effect on the developing infant.
Your doctor should be aware of the risk that drugs can pose to an unborn baby. You depend on your doctor to know what is best for your infant and for you during pregnancy. Carefully monitoring the prescription medications, supplements and other medicines taken by a patient, including over-the-counter painkillers, is important for a positive pregnancy outcome.
When doctors fail to perform this basic but critical service, women may unknowingly endanger the future health of their child. Monitoring medical choices, much like monitoring an infant’s heartbeat during labor, is important to ensure better outcomes.
Many drugs do not have approval for use during pregnancy
Certain medications have long been correlated with negative pregnancy outcomes. For example, the popular cystic acne medication called Accutane can cause horrific birth defects. In order for a doctor to prescribe the drug to a woman, they should follow best practices, which include a monthly pregnancy test before refilling or renewing the prescription.
Failing to verify a woman’s pregnancy status before prescribing or administering a drug like Accutane could have catastrophic consequences for the unborn child, as well as the mother. As an expectant mother, you will likely do everything in your power to help your child have the best opportunity at life. You rely on medical professionals to help you make the right decisions about pregnancy and birth.
If your doctor fails to give you proper care, which could include prescribing medications known to be dangerous in pregnancy, you may have the legal right to hold your doctor accountable for that error or oversight. A child born with serious, but preventable, birth defects will have a profound impact on everyone in the family.
If you are dealing with the heartbreaking reality of a medication-related birth injury to your child, it may be time to explore whether you have the right to hold your doctor accountable for any mistakes that contributed to the injury.