Birth injury is a bodily form of havoc of any type to a newborn during a childbirth procedure. It arises from pressure applied during the process. This doesn’t only affect the baby, but the mother could also suffer injuries during delivery.
Birth injuries also known as “Neonatal birth trauma” suffered by the newborn baby include bruising, cracked bones, nerve destruction. Most birth injury end without treatment.
Maternal injuries have a profound effect on the pelvic area. Rupture of the perineum with a surgical incision in the vagina and anal region. The surgical incisions can damage the nerves in those areas which causes an intolerable condition known as neuralgia.
Birth injuries are distinct from “birth defects” which inflict damage to the fetus in the womb. Birth defects are caused by infections, exposure to toxins or genetic mutation.
Key Facts of Birth Injury
There are various kinds of birth injuries which can be critical or minimal. Some injuries can render the baby handicapped and some heal with time.
This nerve damage occurs when a newborn baby’s hand, arm or shoulder is paralysed. When brachial plexus nerves are damaged during childbirth. Excessive pulling of the child’s neck, feet or shoulders gets stuck under the pelvic bone.
Some children survive this in the long run while some require therapy to completely recover from the damage. In several cases the damage is permanent.
- Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy
Long labor is dangerous to the fetus in the womb likewise in an abnormal position. This condition can make a child suffer from lack of oxygen and blood flow.
How serious the injuries will determine the extent at which the child will be affected. It causes seizures, hearing and vision impairment. It may be permanent or temporary.
- Brain Damage
Brain damage is as a result of injuries to the head during childbirth. It’s caused by shortage of oxygen, bleeding to the brain and excessive pulling of the head.
Depending on the nature of the damage, your baby might recover or be permanently disable.
- Intrauterine Fetal Demise
Intrauterine fetal demise also known as Stillbirth happens when the baby dies before delivery. When the baby is born without life, Fetus might have died weeks or hours before delivery.
If you have fever symptoms, bleeding, chills, or pain, don’t hesitate to call your healthcare provider immediately. It might be a sign of infections.
- Spinal Cord Injuries
The brain and spinal cord together make up the central nervous system. When the doctors exerts too much force on the baby’s spine, spinal injuries can occur. Force can be in the form of twisting and pulling the child’s neck.
This damage can’t be resolved but treatment can make it less deteriorating. Damages are deterioration of the body’s strength; Loss of sensation; and Loss of motor control or other functions.
- Shoulder dystocia
When one or the two shoulders of the baby get stuck in the mothers pelvis the term shoulder dystocia is used. This can cause complications to the fetus and the mother, although babies with shoulder dystocia are born safe in most cases.
Cesarean(C-section) is proposed so as to avoid birth injury on the mother and baby.
- Broken Bones
Babies can suffer broken bones from negligence of the doctor or other difficulties during labor. Broken bones can be heal with proper health care. In some the bones might not fit back to it normal position and might be permanent.
- Cerebral Palsy
When there’s serious oxygen deprivation to the brain or head injuries during labor can result into cerebral palsy. Complications to the umbilical cord or separation of the placenta can also cause shortage of oxygen supply to the brain.
Cerebral Palsy effects hearing, vision and sensation. Difficulty in walk g and sitting are also signs of cerebral palsy.
How Birth Injury Guide Can Help You?
In situations where negligence of doctors caused birth injuries you could claim compensation. You can visit Birth Injury Guide website to find high quality of information on how to get compensation for your child.
You can claim for compensation before your child get to 18years of age. Compensation can also be given to those that are 18years old but you only have three years to make a claim. You can make a claim for deceased baby, you only have three years to make a claim starting from the date of death.
Causes of Birth Injuries
- Obesity during pregnancy
Being obese is a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater. The higher the BMI, the more complications during birth.
For safety purposes, consider weight loss before getting pregnant. It’s so beneficial for the mother and the fetus.
Losing weight before pregnancy can really help you a lot more. Physicians should always check and monitor the weight of a pregnant patient.
Newborns of overweight mothers are at a bigger threat for neonatal hypoglycemia, which can cause brain defects. Close attention and feeding may be necessary.
- Maternal Age Impacts Pregnancy
Birth injury can occur among pregnant teenagers and older maternal age of 35 years and above. People of such age are exposed to risk of “Neonatal birth trauma”
Early childbirth is dangerous for adolescents, even the baby is not safe. 19years old and below mothers have smaller birth canal and make vaginal birth difficult. However, “bigger than normal” babies are possible among older mothers(35 years and above).
- Large Baby Size
Most babies born in 37 to 40weeks weigh 2.5kg to 4.5kg. “Fetal Macrosomia” is when the baby weighs 4.5kg and above. Although, Boys tend to be bigger in size than girls.
Genetics such as the parents stature and height is a factor to consider. In addition, Medical conditions like diabetes can cause a newborn baby to be bigger than normal. “Fetal Macrosomia” in some cases cannot be explained or have clear bases.
Labor is longer when a fetus is bigger than normal size or resolved to caesarean. That doesn’t mean your baby can’t be delivered but comes with complications and injuries.
- Premature or Too Early Birth
Preterm labor or premature labor is when labor begins before term(37weeks). Causes of premature birth are not always known but some factors are likely.
- Alcohol and Smoking
- Teenage mothers and Older mothers
- High blood pressure, diabetes and some other health conditions.
Premature babies have immature organs and are exposed to infections, oxygen shortage and jaundice. The baby is prone to birth injury that can cause permanent conditions like cerebral palsy.
- Abnormal Fetal Position.
Presentation is the position of your baby in the uterus, an organ located in the female pelvis. The safest presentation is the headfirst, So, the fetus in an abnormal position suffers birth injuries.
Birth injuries are common when baby position is in head-up state, buttock first, shoulder first or feet first, and traverse lie. Birth injuries can occur when the baby is in “face forward position” excess tension and pressure is on the baby’s neck that’s stretched out.
Abnormal fetal positions are preventable when detected early. Ultrasound tests can help you detect the position and enable doctors to check the baby’s well-being. Your doctor might suggest an external cephalic version (ECV) so as to turn your baby into head-down position before due date.
” ECV” involves applying pressure to your abdomen. It’s safe but your doctor must closely monitored the baby heartbeat to avoid complications.
Birth injury can be permanent on the baby. Adequate care and attention must be given to those who suffers from Birth injury. Health provider must prevent further harm such as seizures, brain bleeds, infections and respiratory problem.
Babies with birth injury should be enrolled Early Intervention (EI)programs. Provide with enough therapy to develop them. Physical Therapy to help in motor skills and Occupational Therapy.