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Louisiana birth injury: Perineal tearing during childbirth

Childbirth, it is an experience that is different for every woman. There are those who are able to get through it with relative ease and no physical trauma to their own bodies, but there are also those who suffer great injury during the process. One common birth injury seen is perineal tearing. Common as it may be, there are women in Louisiana and elsewhere who may suffer pain or other issues for years if the tearing is severe or not fixed properly.

It is believed that most women tear to some degree during childbirth. For first time moms, there is actually about a 95 percent chance that they will suffer some level of vaginal tearing during the process. Issues that contribute to vaginal tearing include:

  • The baby's weight
  • The mother's weight
  • Speed of labor
  • Use of labor assist devices

There are four different types of perineal tears. First-degree tears are the most common and are considered minor as they are small and only affect the skin layers. Second and third degree tears are typically bigger and deeper, stretching into muscle tissue. Fourth-degree tears are the worst, causing damage all the way down to the rectal lining and affecting several muscle layers.

Not all tearing can be prevented; however, if a mother shows signs that the tearing will be severe there are things that medical providers can do in order to prevent serious injury. Mothers in Louisiana who have suffered this type of birth injury and believe that medical negligence contributed to it and their poor recoveries may have legal recourse. Civil claims may be filed against health care providers and facilities of treatment in order to seek compensation for any physical, financial and emotional damages sustained.

Source:, "Vaginal Tearing During Childbirth: What You Need to Know", Holly Pevzner, Accessed on Sept. 19, 2017

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