Significant Childbirth Trauma for First Time Mother

The areas of pregnancy, labour, and childbirth raise interesting questions about the information and advice provided to pregnant mothers in order to allow them to make decisions and choices.

The pendulum has swung from natural childbirth to medical intervention (specifically caesarean section) and back again.

Split-second decisions regarding the method of delivery are often accompanied by a significant lack of information regarding the risks that may present themselves; some women feel forced or pressured into delivering their child naturally despite their preference for a caesarean delivery.

It seems that the issue of injury to the mother during delivery is often overlooked, not discussed, and not considered during the decision making process.

The case study below is just one instance of assistance we have provided to a first time mother who suffered significant birth trauma.


Our client was a 41 year old woman who suffered a fourth degree perineal tear following the use of forceps in assisting the delivery of her first child.

Our client had expected her child to be delivered by way of caesarean section, however during labour our client was advised that she had fully dilated, and that she could proceed with a natural birth. Our client was not advised as to the risks of using forceps to naturally deliver her child, and the delivery subsequently proceeded with a lack of informed consent.

Our client suffered significant and traumatic injuries.

The issue was compounded by failing to diagnose and repair the injuries immediately after labour, inflicting further trauma.

Our client was left with significant ongoing disabilities.

The serious nature of these injuries caused inconvenience and distress, and significantly impacted upon our client’s capacity for employment.

Proceedings were commenced on behalf of our client in the Supreme Court of New South Wales.

Expert evidence was sought from several prominent experts in the field of obstetrics and uro-gynaecology, and highlighted the inadequate standard of care received by our client, namely the failure of treating doctors to obtain informed consent before proceeding with the forceps delivery.

A settlement was reached during a mediation with the solicitors engaged on behalf of the Obstetrician-Gynaecologist.

Whilst systemic issues surrounding treatment in childbirth persist, it is important to be aware that there are avenues of assistance available to women who have experienced trauma resulting from the birth process.

Our experienced team of medical negligence lawyers may be able to assist you in relation to negligent and inadequate treatment you may have received during your pregnancy.