Every pregnant woman wishes to deliver a healthy child through a safe and not distressful process. However, it is no secret that the delivery process is universally considered one of the most painful experiences. Some claim that passing a kidney stone is the closest a man will ever get to experiencing the pains of labor and childbirth.
The delivery process is seemingly easier due to modern medicine and technology, but even the most delicately planned deliveries could take a turn; therefore, it is good to have alternative birth methods.
If a woman experiences complications during pregnancy or delivery, she has higher chances of causing her child’s birth injury. A birth injury is any type of damage or harm a baby sustains just before, during, or shortly after delivery. Birth injuries can cause a short-lived recovery process or cause permanent damages.
What Causes Birth Injuries?
Negligence during pregnancy, labor, and delivery are the leading causes of birth injuries. Many newborns suffer minor injuries during the delivery process, and most of these injuries don’t require treatment, for they usually heal independently. However, some birth injuries have lifelong effects on the child’s mental and physical capabilities.
Therefore, a pregnant woman needs to know which childbirth and delivery methods would work best to avoid the injuries. Moreover, doctors play a significant role in preventing these injuries, and they need to rule out all carelessness and advise their patients accordingly.
Causes of birth injuries include the following:
- Medical Negligence, such as improper use of medical tools, the false diagnosis of pregnancy complications, or wrong medication.
- Mother’s health issues, such as abnormally shaped pelvis, infections, diabetes, obesity, or prolonged labor.
- Fetus health factors, such as oxygen deprivation, the baby being too large, the baby having an infection, premature birth, or the baby born with feet first during vaginal delivery.
What Are the Types of Birth Injuries?
Below are the common types of birth traumas and injuries:
1. Spinal Cord Injuries
This injury happens when a doctor excessively pulls or twists a baby’s spine during delivery. The spine is responsible for sending signals to the brain that help control the limbs, and a spinal cord injury will affect your child’s mobility and sense of touch.
This injury mainly affects the baby’s neck, and the damage caused is permanent; therefore, prevention should be a top priority.
2. Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE)
HIE is a brain injury caused to a newborn due to oxygen deprivation and limited blood flow in the brain. Sadly, there is no cure for HIE, and the baby grows and develops permanent health conditions or disorders such as epilepsy, hearing impairment, vision issues, and cognitive disorders. Some of the factors that lead to HIE are prolonged labor, placental abruption, and the fetus being in the wrong position.
3. Fetal Demise
Also known as Intrauterine Fetal Demise but commonly referred to as Stillbirth. It happens when a fetus dies before birth. Moreover, it is likely to happen to mothers who are pregnant with twins, triplets, or more, and those who struggle with maternal obesity, high blood pressure, or diabetes.
4. Newborn Jaundice
It refers to the yellowing of a child’s skin shortly after birth and is common in preterm babies. Jaundice is considered harmless, and it disappears after 1 or 2 weeks.
A chemical called bilirubin causes Newborn Jaundice, and when the baby’s liver is well-developed, it will remove bilirubin from the blood. However, in some cases, bilirubin overload can cause permanent brain damage.
5. Cerebral Palsy
It is caused by brain damage before or during delivery. The brain damage could be due to medical negligence, infections, limited oxygen in the brain, or bleeding in the brain.
Cerebral Palsy affects a child’s motor skills, muscle control, speech, bowel/bladder control, and breathing. It has no cure, but some treatments can help manage it.
Recovery Tips for Birth Injuries
In unexpected cases of birth injuries, seeking treatments can go a long way in helping your child recover. Your doctor can advise you to use various medications, do physical or occupational therapy, do hypothermia treatment, or any other alternative treatment methods.