Indiana Medical Malpractice & Injury Attorneys 
doctor examining baby with stethoscope

Does Your Doctor Have to Follow Your Birth Plan?

Pregnancy is such a mix of emotion, especially your first one. There is the joy that you are starting a new journey, and there is the nervousness about the birth process. For many moms-to-be, it is comforting to come up with a plan for what will happen during the birthing process.

Sometimes a birth plan is a complex list of “if this/then that” situations, but other times it is as simple as when to administer an epidural. The plan can help calm your anxiety about birth, but there are times when your doctor may not be able to follow your plan.

This is what you should keep in mind about when your doctor might deviate from your birth plan.

Your Birth Plan Cannot Cover Everything

Most births happen the way the mother and doctor expect. In most cases, throughout pregnancy, your doctor can make a strong analysis of what kind of birthing experience is ahead.

Even within that understanding, your doctor should mention some likely alternatives that could come up in the delivery room, including:

  • Manually breaking your water
  • Using medicine to encourage or speed up the labor process
  • Emergency C-section
  • Pain management

Although you and your doctor may not be able to plan for every emergency, a collaborative birth plan can typically cover the spirit of what you want.

When the Unexpected Happens

Unfortunately, a lot can change very quickly during the birthing process. You can go from typical labor and delivery to a situation where you or the baby are in immediate danger.

If there are certain procedures or interventions you do not want while you are in labor, consider having an advocate such as a friend or a doula who can speak on your behalf if you become unconscious or the doctor suggests something you are uncomfortable with.

Beyond those preparations, the doctor still has a medical duty to make tough decisions that they think will be best for you and your child. As long as they do not go outside accepted medical standards, your doctor’s decisions likely do not constitute medical malpractice, even if they do not produce the exact expected results.

However, do not let that discourage you from exploring your rights in case you or your baby suffer a birth injury. If your doctor deviates from your birth plan and something goes wrong, you may have claim to compensation and a sense of closure. You should connect with a medical malpractice lawyer and birth injury attorney to see what can be done.

You can dial (317) 854-5877 to connect with Garau Germano, P.C. in Indianapolis for questions about a birth injury claim in Indiana. Our attorneys are standing by to help.


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