Birth Injury Statistics That Parents Should Know


Laura Schaefer

It’s much safer to give birth in the modern era than it was in the past. Childbirth complication rates at most hospitals in the U.S. are less than 1.5%. But that means it’s still not 100% safe, even at the best hospitals in the nation. In fact, according to a recent investigation conducted by USA Today, the United States is the most dangerous place to give birth in the developed world. Injuries happen to both mothers and babies, and the birth injury statistics can be bracing. It’s not a topic most people are familiar with until they’re put in the vulnerable position of having suffered an injury themselves.

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If this has happened to your family, please know that there is help available to you during this difficult and frightening time in your life. You deserve both answers and a settlement if you’ve suffered a preventable birth injury.

How Common are Birth Injuries?

Before we discuss what course of action you should take, let’s look at some birth injury statistics:

  • Approximately 50,000 women per year suffer from childbirth injuries in the U.S. but only 15% of new mothers get quick, effective care during delivery.
  • 700 women die in childbirth each year. Babies also experience birth injuries, affecting about 7 in every 1,000 children, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
  • Broken collarbones happen in 1-2% of infants during the birthing process.
  • One recent Crico Strategies report shows about 1 in 10 OB/gyns get hit with a malpractice suit each year. In addition, each one takes an average of 27 months to resolve.

Birth Injury Statistics Vary by Hospital

By looking at hospital billing data from 7 million births in 13 states, investigative reporters found that 1 of every 8 hospitals had rates double the norm for childbirth complications or injuries. Women were twice as likely at these 120 hospitals to have had blood transfusions, hysterectomies, seizures, heart attacks, strokes or other issues.

The hospital where you choose to give birth matters.

What’s the Root Cause?

A recent study from CRICO Strategies discovered the most common cause of birth injuries was lack of communication between medical staff and mothers in labor. This can be considered a form of medical negligence. Birth injury statistics also show that bleeding is another major cause. According to a recent feature on PBS Newshour, postpartum hemorrhage occurs in around 3% of deliveries. It is a leading cause of maternal mortality in the U.S. and even if it doesn’t result in the mother’s death, it can create long-term health issues.

Finally, access to care is an issue in the United States. Half of U.S. counties have no practicing obstetrician or gynecologist. About 40% of women who give birth in this country must drive 30 miles or more to the nearest delivery hospital.

How Do Birth Injuries Impact Families?

Unfortunately, in addition to emotional pain and suffering, long-term care required for most birth injuries is also very expensive. A Maternal Child and Health Journal birth injury statistics study found approximately 4 out of 10 families with children who have special healthcare needs experience financial burdens related to their child’s condition.

Thus, families who must pay for their child’s ongoing care may benefit from filing a birth injury lawsuit. If this describes you, do not hesitate to seek compensation from  the hospital where you delivered or your OB/gyn.

Medical costs associated with a birth injury may include:

  • Therapy
  • Medication
  • Adaptive equipment
  • Multiple surgeries

Take Action Today

Do not be ashamed to ask for help if you or your baby suffer childbirth injuries. We understand that you must focus on trying to care for your baby first and foremost. But your birth injury concerns are valid. If you’ve voiced concerns to your doctor and he or she dismissed them, then it’s time to speak to a birth injury attorney.

Again, the U.S. has a high maternal mortality rate among developed countries and this won’t change unless everyone affected takes action. Birth injury statistics worsened during recent years. The issue is particularly troubling for women of color, who often suffer higher birth injury rates.

Families of babies with birth injuries deserve answers regarding what went wrong during childbirth. If you find yourself wondering whether your child’s condition is preventable, speak with an experienced birth injury attorney today.

In the last 10 years, 30% of birth injury malpractice suits against a healthcare provider resulted in a major cash settlement worth at least $900,000. Of the 100,000 cases studied over this decade, 24 reached settlements of $11+ million. We urge you speak with an expert birth injury attorney in our network today for free about your potential case.

Ready to see if you may qualify? Complete your free online birth injury case evaluation now!

Laura Schaefer

Laura Schaefer is the author of The Teashop Girls, The Secret Ingredient, and Littler Women: A Modern Retelling. She is also an active co-author or ghostwriter of several nonfiction books on personal and business development. Laura currently lives in Windermere, Florida with her husband and daughter and works with clients all over the world. Visit her online at and