Having a baby is an exciting time of life, full of hope and plans for the future. However, sometimes the birth itself doesn’t always go according to plans. Birth injuries are not something that most new moms expect to happen. Some birth injuries are preventable, but some are not. While soon-to-be-moms shouldn’t dwell on worst case scenarios, there are common birth injuries that new moms should be aware of and watch for.
Brain Related Injuries
Brain related birth injuries occur when the brain is deprived of oxygen. Symptoms can vary from 1 infant to another. Symptoms can be immediately obvious as soon as the baby is born, or can wait and manifest later as the child gets older. Most brain related birth injuries are preventable, according to Cohen, Placitella & Roth, P.C. Proper monitoring of the baby to watch for fetal distress, proper use of birth-assisting tools, and timely emergency C-section when necessary are all ways to help avoid a brain related birth injury. Cerebral palsy is the leading brain related birth injury affecting approximately 800,000 children each year.
Muscle Related Injuries
Sometimes muscle related injuries can be misdiagnosed as cerebral palsy in a newborn. However, generally it is easy to see where the affected area is because there is limited movement or more obvious trauma such a lacerations or bruising. Common muscle related injuries such as brachial plexus cause weakness in the arm, shoulder, or hand and the baby is unable to use certain muscles.
Bone Related Injuries
Broken collar bones, arms, and legs are a birth injury that are normally preventable. Unfortunately, infant have fragile bones that can be damaged during birth. Symptoms include swelling, limited movement, and obvious signs of pain.
Birth Injuries Caused by C-Sections
There are many reasons why a C-Section may be the best option for your baby’s birth. However, C-sections are not risk-free. Cuts, scrapes, breathing problems, and physical development delays can all result from delayed or incorrectly performed C-sections.
Meconium Aspiration Syndrome
Birth injuries are more common during long and difficult deliveries, such as meconium aspiration syndrome. When the baby is under stress for a long period of time, it can defect in the uterus and then breath in the meconium. This can cause severe breathing problems for the infant after birth.
The vast majority of babies are born without any problems. However, if your baby suffers a birth injury, you can be prepared and know how to proceed.