Up to 90 percent of all expecting women use some type of medication, either prescription or over-the-counter, at some point during their pregnancy. The majority of medications are safe to take during pregnancy, but there are a number of medications that may increase the risk for birth defects when taken by women who are pregnant. It is very important that pregnant women discuss all vitamins, supplements and medications they use with their doctors so they can safeguard against pharmaceutical-caused birth defects.
There are a number of ways medications can affect fetal development when taken during pregnancy:
- They can reduce the flow of nutrients and oxygen from the mother to the fetus by inhibiting the function of the placenta
- They can cause uterine contractions that may lead to premature birth or injury to the baby
- They can affect fetal development
According to experts, dangerous drugs are most likely to cause birth defects when they are used by the mother during the first trimester of her pregnancy, though there is a chance of pharmaceutical birth defects at any stage of a fetus’ development. Because many women are not yet aware that they are expecting at this earliest stage of pregnancy, it is important that all women who are of childbearing age be aware of the risk of birth defects caused by medications. Any woman that is planning a pregnancy should talk to her doctor about the medications she is taking and the potential risks.
A drug or substance that is known to cause birth defects is called a teratogen. The families of children who were born with birth defects that resulted from exposure to teratogenic medications in the womb may be entitled to compensation for medical bills and other damages, particularly those who were unaware of the risks.
While compensation from a personal injury lawsuit cannot make up for a baby’s compromised health, it can help offset the financial burdens associated with caring for a baby who was born with a birth defect. If you believe your child’s birth defect may be linked to a medication you were prescribed during pregnancy, a personal injury lawyer can support your family as you pursue justice.
As a San Diego personal injury law firm, the attorneys at The Law Office of Melinda J. Helbock A.P.C. represent families that are affected by a number of birth defects, including heart complications, spina bifida and more. To find out if you have a claim, please contact ustoday.