A newborn baby’s birth can be a stressful time, you can research, prepare, and plan your birth, but the outcome is unpredictable as every baby and birth is unique. It’s wise to prepare for the unexpected and be flexible with your birthing plan. Although the majority of babies in well-developed countries are delivered with no physical injuries, there are situations when something can go wrong in the birth process. This can be a result of incorrectly used instruments or handing of a newborn. If you have been affected by a birth injury and would like more details on what to do next, you may want to speak with a Long Island birth injury lawyer.
Understanding birth trauma
The term ‘birth trauma’ is used to describe injuries sustained to a newborn baby during labor or delivery. A birth injury is usually more common among larger babies as these deliveries can often require a doctor to use forceps or vacuum to guide the baby out. If a doctor uses too much force when doing so, it can cause injuries to the baby and mother.
Common birth injuries
The most likely place for a baby to be injured during birth is around the head, neck, and shoulder area. Bruising may occur on parts of the baby due to force or physical stresses during birth. The use of forceps or a vacuum during the delivery could cause marks or bruising on a baby’s head. Pressure can cause swelling and bruising to the baby’s scalp. This is more common when labor carries on for a long time.
Less common birth injuries
It is rare, but the incorrect use of vacuums and forceps can result in broken bones or even facial paralysis. A baby’s facial nerves can also be damaged due to pressure through the birth canal, although this can improve without treatment if the nerves are bruised. If the nerve is more severely damaged, such as a tear, surgery may be required to repair the muscular function. A baby’s health can be seriously affected by oxygen deprivation – this can be caused by the umbilical cord being entangled around the baby’s neck and therefore reducing the flow of oxygen to the brain. This can result in loss of hearing or eyesight and conditions such as cerebral palsy or brain damage.
Babies often quickly recover from common birth traumas and can successfully heal on their own without any medical interference. Although, in most situations, a birth injury can be avoided if doctors notice the signs and can predict any potential issues. To help prevent trauma, it’s important to regularly monitor the mother’s health in the lead up to the birth and use ultrasound images to detect the baby’s movements and positioning.
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