Pregnancy can be an amazing experience. It is a special time of bonding for everyone in the family. And, your greatest hope is that your new baby is born healthy.
Unfortunately, many babies experience injuries at birth. In fact, this is more common than you might imagine. A birth injury can occur for a number of reasons, and some are minor while other injuries are more severe.
In this article, we take a look at 5 types of birth injuries and the signs to look for. Keep reading to learn some important detailed you’ll need to know in order to identify a potential health issue.
1. Bone Fractures
Bone fractures typically occur during a drawn out or complicated delivery. When delivery takes longer than normal, the baby becomes more vulnerable to broken bones, especially a fractured collarbone.
Depending on the severity of the break, these broken bones can often be treated immediately. Otherwise, these breaks will simply need to heal on their own.
2. Brachial Plexus Injuries
This type of injury is typically the result of a positional mishap during the birthing process. In many cases, when the baby is born in the breech position and raises an arm over its head during delivery, it can cause damage to the nerves that run from the upper spine to the neck, arms, shoulders, and hands.
This damage ranges from mild to severe, and in extreme cases can even result in permanent disability for the child.
3. Meconium Aspiration Syndrome
Meconium is a thick green substance that makes up your newborn’s first bowel movement. It’s composed of mucus, amniotic fluid, lanugo, and epithelial cells.
Typically, a baby will pass meconium during the few days of life. But that’s not the case with meconium aspiration syndrome.
In these situations, the baby passes the meconium while still in the uterus, then draws the contaminated fluid into its lungs, often resulting in lung irritation and blocked airways.
4. Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy is one of the most common birth injuries. It’s a permanent movement disorder that results from the brain’s inability to control muscles. A child with this disorder will experience diminished motor skills, including difficulties with eating and swallowing.
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5. Shoulder Dystocia
This type of injury is caused when the baby’s shoulder is stuck behind the mother’s pelvic bone. This unnatural position often causes a uterine rupture or hemorrhaging that typically results in brachial plexus injuries or cerebral palsy.
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Symptoms and Prevention
The symptoms of birth injuries are often noticed at the time of birth, but not always. The baby’s behavior might give an indication that something is wrong, and yet the hospital staff might not notice before you take the baby home.
Unfortunately, these injuries are frequently caused by the actions of the hospital staff during delivery. This can happen when doctors fail to detect infections and other complications during pregnancy.
How to Deal with a Birth Injury
Having a baby is one of the great joys of life. But it’s important to be aware that birth injury is always a possibility. And if your baby experiences this type of birth trauma, the hospital needs to be held accountable.
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