Maternity and Medical Negligence

Lifestyle Changes

Maternity is often seen as an exciting and fulfilling experience. It’s the time when preparations for a new life are being made.  The actual definition of maternity is from the time the woman becomes pregnant to the time shortly after the baby is born and in that time a lot happens and huge changes are made to all parts of life. Even from the planning stage of wanting a baby changes start to take place. For both the potential mother and father lifestyle modifications should happen so that conception and conceiving happens as healthy as possible. Even before the woman is pregnant it’s important for both the man and woman to ensure that they are both healthy in body and in mind so cutting back on unhealthy food, drinking less alcohol and trying to quit smoking if smokers, are seemed necessary. Once the women is pregnant the health changes needed  go even further and guidelines about which food to eat and drinks to drink are there to ensure the pregnancy is as straight forward as possible.

Signs of Complications

Maternity DoctorThe majority of pregnancies go without complications but it is important to always be aware of issues that may arise and know what to do in the event that they do. Complications can happen during the pregnancy, labour and birth stage and shortly after so it’s better to be mindful and prepared.

Some of the complications that can happen during pregnancy are;

-          Ectopic pregnancy

-          Miscarriage

-          Low amniotic fluid

-          Gestational diabetes

-          Complications with foetus/baby

-          Anaemia

-          Low lying placenta

-          Premature ruptured membranes

-          Pre-clampsia

Some complications that may happen during labour and delivery;

-          Premature delivery

-          Breach presentation

-          Umbilical cord prolapse or compression

-          Amniotic fluid embolism

-          Prolonged labour

-          Postpartum Haemorrhage

-          Retained placenta

-          Shoulder dystocia

-          Unborn baby in distress


Maternity complication can happen and most of the time it’s not as a result of anything that the pregnant women has done especially if she has carried out her pregnancy in a healthy manner. Instinct has an enormous part to play during maternity and knowing how the body can change, listening out for warning signs that things that are happening might not happen is the biggest advantage a pregnant women can have.

Medical Negligence

It is known that some complications can arise due to the fact that a medical staff has been negligent. Medical negligence is when a health care provider has given care that has been below the standard of expectation and that act or treatment has caused the patient to suffer and become a victim when the incident could have been avoided. In the incident where a negligent act takes place during pregnancy or delivery medical negligence claims can be made.

Examples of negligence

During the pregnancy part of maternity it has been known for symptoms of complications to go unnoticed. When a women is unfortunately experiencing an ectopic pregnancy the symptoms maybe mistaken for a miscarriage as they can carry similar signs e.g. abdominal pain and bleeding,  so if a scan is not carried out there in no certain way of sometimes knowing the difference but if an ectopic pregnancy goes unnoticed it can cause severe effects. If the ectopic pregnancy is assumed to be a miscarriage because it was not investigated correctly this could be an act of negligence.

The main majority of labours and deliveries go as planned but there are few instances when mistakes are made and catastrophic consequences result.  One of the most severe birth negligence’s that can take place is when the unborn baby is starved of oxygen maybe because the unborn baby was not being monitored correctly and result with the baby facing disabilities or it may even be fatal. can provide expert guidance in assisting people who have experienced a birthing negligence as they have medical negligence experts that deal with such claims. Making a claim is not always an easy choice but if something as unfortunate as a birth negligence has occurred which has had life changing consequences help towards the change is needed.

Maternity and Pay

Part of preparing to become pregnant involves being aware of how the laws works when it comes to maternity leave and pay and a very useful site to use is the governments website,

Maternity Leave and Pay

All women who are pregnant and employed in the United Kingdom are eligible to 52 weeks of maternity leave, without regard to their length of employment with a company. The first 26 weeks are considered ordinary maternity leave and the second 26 weeks are considered additional maternity leave. Taking the entire 52 weeks is not required but women must take a leave of two weeks after their baby is born and four weeks if they work in a factory.

Maternity AdviceWomen who are pregnant can get additional paid time off for antenatal care. This care can include medical appointments and parenting classes if such classes were recommended by a midwife or doctor. Women are to be paid their normal rate of pay for such antenatal care as stipulated by law.
If a woman is off work for an illness related to her pregnancy in the four weeks before the baby is due, maternity leave can begin immediately. Otherwise, the earliest a woman can take her maternity leave is 11 weeks before the week when the child is expected to be born.
During the period of leave, woman are entitled to statutory maternity pay for up to 39 weeks. During the first six weeks, women receive 90 per cent of the average weekly earnings before tax and 90 per cent of their average weekly earnings or £138.18 for the remaining 33 weeks, whichever is lower. Statutory maternity pay is paid out either weekly or monthly as per the same way that regular wages are paid.

There are some qualifications for statutory maternity pay. A woman needs to earn at least £111 a week; let her employer know at least 15 weeks before the due date when the baby is due and when maternity leave is planned; show proof of pregnancy, such as a letter from a doctor or midwife; and have work continuously for her employer at least 26 weeks up to the 15th week before the week the child is expected to be born.

A woman also needs to let her employer know when she wants to stop working so she can have her baby and when she wants her statutory maternity pay to start. This needs to be done at least 28 days before the start and preferably in writing. The employer in turn is required to let a woman know when her statutory mandatory pay will be and when it will start.

In addition, during the time a woman is on maternity leave, her contract and terms of agreement for her employment cannot be changed without her agreement. Pension contributions are protected as well. All other employment rights of the woman are also protected including pay raises, accrual of holiday time and the right to return to work. There are additional rights if a woman’s job is made redundant while she is on leave.

There are times when companies have their own maternity schemes and so a woman can get more than the statutory amount of leave and pay but she cannot get any less than stipulated by the government. For more information go to for more information.