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Obstetrics - Medical Negligence Compensation Claim Solicitors


Obstetrics is a branch of medicine that deals exclusively with assisting women through the process of reproduction.

Obstetric procedures do not always go to plan and in cases where medical negligence is suspected, our solicitors may be able to assist you in making a compensation claim.


Most Obstetricians are also Gynaecologists and therefore, are referred to under the collective name of 'OB/Gyn'. They guide and advise women throughout pregnancy, childbirth and the immediate postnatal period of six weeks following the birth.

The main concern for the obstetrician is to assist a woman through a healthy pregnancy resulting in the safe birth of her baby. This is achieved by careful attention for signs of potential difficulty throughout pregnancy, arranging frequent visits to monitor her health and checking that the baby is developing normally. An obstetrician will advise the woman of any remedial actions that may need to be taken. While most pregnancies are trouble free, the obstetrician is always alert for any problems that can arise at anytime throughout the pregnancy, labour and the postnatal period.

When all is going according to plan, the obstetrician work closely with the attending midwives to oversee the labour and normal delivery of the baby. An obstetrician becomes vital to the health of the mother and her baby when complications develop. Obstetricians are trained surgeons, so it is left to them to decide on and perform any surgical procedure necessary to bring about the conclusion of a pregnancy. Interventions include the use of instruments to assist a vaginal birth, as well as the performance of a Caesarean section when needed or requested.

The Birth Plan

When pregnancy is confirmed, a woman may consider making a Birth Plan. However, there is some debate as to whether they are useful or not. Those on the positive side of the argument say that having a birth plan empowers a woman to feel in control of the birth. On the other hand, a complicated birth plan can not only produce unsustainable expectations, it can lead to frustration for the woman and/or her support when it cannot be carried out due to complications. There can never really be a 'planned' birth.

Choosing the Obstetrician

If there is a choice, it is suggested that a woman (and partner) interview at least two obstetricians. This will establish if they have similar views and values. There are several questions that will assist with a decision as to which obstetrician will suit each woman or couple :

  • The overall philosophy and beliefs of the obstetrician - e.g. if birth should be considered a medical procedure or a natural process.
  • The degree of choice the woman is or will be given during the birth process.
  • The philosophy of the obstetrician regarding pain relief during labour.
  • Whether any part of the proposed birth plan will cause a problem for the obstetrician or the hospital.
  • The obstetrician's views on monitoring using electronic equipment - should it be utilized continuously or checked on a regular basis.
  • At what stage of the pregnancy is labour induction used.
  • At what stage is a caesarean section recommended and the percentage of caesareans the obstetrician performs.
  • Under what conditions is an episiotomy recommended and the percentage this procedure is performed.
  • What conditions would have to prevail for the obstetrician to assist a vaginal breech birth.
  • How does the obstetrician manage the third stage of birth?

Pregnancy and birth are natural processes and, while a great deal of it appears to seem rather 'medical', all those working in this field of medicine understand it is an emotional time and a biological event that calls for intuition and empathy as much as it does medical expertise.

Medical Negligence Solicitors

Whilst most obstetric procedures are carried out satisfactorily by healthcare professionals there are times when things do go wrong. Where this occurs due to medical negligence our solicitors can help you to obtain compensation. We operate the no win no fee* scheme otherwise known as a conditional fee agreement. If you would like free advice on obstetric complications from a specialist medical negligence solicitor without further any obligation just use the helpline or contact our solicitors offices by email.


*Legal Information

The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here