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Maternal Birth Trauma – Birth Injury (to mother)

Catherine Henry Lawyers
Catherine Henry Lawyers

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Birth injuries refer to injuries sustained in childbirth, either to the mother or child. Unfortunately, injury and trauma are more common than you might think, and in Australia, 1 in 3 women may experience birth trauma.[1]

Birth injuries can be physical or psychological. We often see women with both. Common physical injuries include peritoneal tears, faecal and urinary incontinence, complex issues arising from pro-longed second stage labour, and more. These injuries often cause women immense pain, discomfort, and embarrassment, and often they are coupled with psychiatric injuries as well, although important to note, you can have one without the other.

Common psychiatric injuries include, post-partum post-traumatic stress disorder, postnatal depression and/or anxiety, and obsessive compulsory disorder, for example excessively checking the baby is OK. The impacts of these types of injuries, can be long lasting and traumatic for many women, and the impacts may extend to partners and loved ones as well.

We have handled numbers of claims for women who have experienced significant and avoidable injury during the birth process. In most of these cases, it has become clear that little or no information is generally made available to women about maternal birth trauma.

Medical negligence investigation

A medical negligence investigation generally begins with obtaining the relevant medical records and a proof of evidence from the client, we call this the preliminary investigation phase. This phase is important as it allows us to find answers and to uncover what caused your birth injury.

We request your medical records, and our team including our in-house nurse reviews your notes. From there, we seek expert assistance form our medico-legal experts – these include renowned obstetricians, gynaecologist, urologists, urogynecologists, and psychologists who then ascertain whether the care you received, failed to meet the standard of reasonable care and skill required, and whether this has caused or materially contributed to the harm you suffered and continue to suffer.

In some cases, there will be clear evidence of a departure from acceptable standards by the health practitioners involved, some may be more complex. Each matter is different, and all the elements of medical negligence will need to be made out in order to be successful in a claim.

The purpose of the law of negligence is to put a person or persons who have suffered injury as a result of someone else’s negligence back in the position they would have been, if there had been no negligence. The only means the law has for doing this is financial compensation. Damages, or compensation, may be payable for such things as pain and suffering, medical expenses, and loss of income.

How can we help?

If you are looking for information or help following birth injury or birth trauma, we can help.

Our award-winning health law team is highly respected in the health and medical litigation arena, with specialist knowledge accumulated over 30 years.

Our award-winning team can assist you by providing expert advice and legal support regarding your options contact us today

*The material provided in our information sheets is for general knowledge only and is not a substitute for independent legal advice. For further information about the issues affecting you, please contact one of our experienced and professional lawyers for expert advice.


Senior Solicitor Linda Crawford is a former midwife. Linda handles all our obstetric enquiries and claims with unique experience in this special area. Find out more about Linda here.

[1] Pregnancy birth & baby

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