Our Service For You

Birth Injury Articles
Vaginal Childbirth Tear Risk Negligence

Vaginal Childbirth Tear Risk Negligence

Suffering a severe perineal tear during vaginal childbirth can leave a woman with a lifetime of bowel problems. Failing to recognise that a new mother is at a greater risk of such an outcome may lead to a misdiagnosis and justify a claim for compensation.

Although a perineal tear is a risk of vaginal childbirth for all women, some women are at a greater risk of experiencing a severe 3rd or 4th degree tear. Such injuries can damage the functioning of the bowel and it is essential that any such damage is identified. A failure to recognise that a woman is in an 'at-risk' category may lead to a misdiagnosis.

Instrumental deliveries

Undergoing an instrumental delivery, especially where forceps are used, puts a woman at a greater risk of suffering a severe birth tear. It may be necessary for an episiotomy to be carried out prior to the instrumental delivery in order to minimise the likelihood of a severe tear. A failure to do this may be regarded as negligent. A failure to carry out a thorough examination of a new mother who has had an instrumental delivery may also be regarded as substandard care.

Shoulder dystocia

Occasionally, a baby may start the birth process but their shoulder may then become stuck behind the pubic bone. This is called shoulder dystocia. It puts the baby at risk and it also puts the new mother at a greater risk of suffering a severe birth tear.

Other severe perineal tear risk factors

Women who are carrying a larger than normal baby and women who have not given birth through the vagina before are at a greater risk of suffering a severe tear, as are women of Asian ethnicity.

Examination and diagnosis

All women who have given birth thorough the vagina should be thoroughly examined after the birth but it is particularly important for those women who come into any of the above categories.

If a severe birth tear is not diagnosed and repaired promptly after the birth of the baby, the woman may suffer symptoms for the rest of her life.

Claiming compensation

If the physical and psychological symptoms of an unrepaired severe tear have caused a significant impact on a woman's quality of life and capacity to work, it may be appropriate to make a claim for compensation.

Contact Glynns Solicitors, specialists in medical negligence compensation, to talk to a solicitor with extensive expertise in birth tear claims.

Please call us on 0800 234 3300 (or from a mobile 01275 334030) or complete our Online Enquiry Form.

Free enquiry

Free Claim Enquiry

Complete a short enquiry form and we will contact you.

Free enquiry



"Before we contacted you we had no real idea that we had grounds for a medical negligence claim but after speaking to you if became clear that Wendy was indeed treated poorly. Chris took the time to explain what was happening and kept us to speed. Our deepest gratitude to you all and Chris in particular."

"I would like to say a big thank you to you for making this whole process easy and relatively painless. You kept me informed throughout and you were always polite and courteous in all forms of communication. I would not hesitate to recommend you to friends and family, so a really big thank you and I wish you all the best in the future."

» Read More Medical Negligence Testimonials?


Our Expertise

clinical negligence panel


Free Birth Injury Guide

Helping Clients throughout England and Wales

contact us