What’s a Birth Injury and How Does It Impact a Child?

For many young couples, no feeling is more exciting than finding out you’re going to become parents. You spend nine months preparing and getting ready to meet your new little one. Of course, you hope and pray that everything will work out great and there will be zero complications with the health of the mother or child. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case with every birth scenario. There are a number of complications that can lead to a traumatic birth or even birth injury for you or your child.

Birth injury cases are sad, difficult things to wrap your mind around. In an instant, things can go wrong in the birthing room that can affect your child’s health in different ways depending on the severity of the case. While medical professionals work diligently to help everyone come through it healthily, there are some things you just can’t plan for. Be prepared for any possibility that could happen during childbirth for general information purposes and be ready mentally and emotionally for anything that could happen. Let’s dive into more details about birth injuries and how they can potentially affect your infant.

Defining Birth Injury

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Giving birth is not an easy task. There is so much going on in that room with paramedics and healthcare professionals working to help deliver an infant. And sometimes, babies have a mind of their own. A birth injury occurs when a medical complication or unforeseen circumstance during childbirth ends up causing physical or mental injury to the newborn. This often occurs when a baby is born prematurely or isn’t facing the correct way within the birth canal. The ins-and-outs of a birth injury case are unique to each situation. Some children are unaffected by a difficult birth, while others may feel the effects or suffer birth defects.

Physical Injuries

There are many different ways a child can experience injury or complication from a traumatic birth. Let’s start by looking at a few examples of physical injuries. While these are not too terribly common, they can still occur during birth that requires forceps to pull the newborn out of the birth canal. Infants can suffer fractures or broken bones which you may not realize for a while after birth. Because their bones and tissues are still developing, it is possible to be injured during birth. Another example would be swelling or bruising on the skin brought about by a rough birth process.

Another physical birth injury that can manifest in different ways is nerve damage. If an infant has nerves pressed up against the mother’s pelvis or in an odd position in utero, that could affect different areas of the body. For example, a pinched nerve from a birth injury could cause eventual eye strain, nearsightedness, or astigmatism leaving you asking how to tell if you need glasses later in life. Different pinched nerves will affect different areas. Your newborn could have lopsided facial expressions, weak arm, and hand movement, or even difficulty breathing due to these injuries.

Head and Brain Injuries

Your head is possibly the most important part of your body, so head and brain damage are some of the more serious complications due to birth injury. Your baby may just end up with swelling of their scalp or general scrapes and bruises. There is also a chance the head can be molded differently during birth or that the skull can suffer a minor fracture.

An even scarier injury is when there is bleeding that occurs in the brain. A hemorrhage in the brain can mean your infant has difficulty getting their blood to clot and can often occur with premature births. They may experience seizures or apnea as they are recovering in the care of medical providers. These doctors know the difference between the BLS and ACLS certifications and the best way to get your newborn through it with as few long-term complications as possible.

Impact on the Mother

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After a traumatic birth, your infant may not be the only one suffering from unexpected complications. As a mother, you need to take care of your own mental and physical health as well. It’s easy to blame yourself for what happened, but that is not a helpful train of thought. Give yourself grace and focus on helping your child now that the baby has entered the world. Consider seeking counseling or physical therapy to help get back to feeling 100%.

Should you seek legal action?

Some birth injury cases are simply due to unforeseen complications, others may be a result of medical malpractice. Seek legal advice if you think you may have a birth injury claim or medical malpractice case. World-renowned lawyers like Malliha Wilson can help you get compensation if you think negligence was involved in your birth injury case. Your child’s birth injury should not cost you any financial struggle, so check if you can get assistance with a birth injury claim.