The moments after giving birth are precious and fleeting but worrisome if your baby sustained an injury during the birthing process.
Birth injury is any harm caused to a baby before, during or immediately after birth. Many of these injuries heal in time with medical treatment and do not significantly impact the child’s life. However, in certain cases, a life-altering birth injury disables a baby permanently.
1. Brain injury, intracranial bleeds, soft tissue injury
An intracranial hemorrhage is bleeding that occurs in the skull. Types include:
- Cerebral hemorrhage
- Intraventricular hemorrhage
- Subarachnoid hemorrhage
- Subdural hemorrhage or subdural hematoma
- Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy
2. Peripheral nerve injury
Referred to as Erb’s Palsy, this birth injury transpires if the nerves that manage movements of the arms and hands become impaired. Infants with this condition experience difficulty bending and rotating their arms. In most cases, the ailments self-resolve but permanent damage occurs if a nerve tears.
3. Cranial nerve and spinal cord injury
Improper handling of a baby during delivery can result in nerve and spinal cord injuries. There are two types of injuries, facial nerve paralysis and spinal cord injury.
4. Bone injury
Bone fractures occur more frequently in births of large infants, shoulder dystocia births and breech deliveries. Typical bone injuries include collarbone fractures, bone cartilage separations and long bone fractures.
Birth injuries range from minor to severe. Discuss any irregularities you notice in your newborn with the on-call pediatrician at the hospital immediately. Remember to stay calm and focus on getting you and your baby the care you deserve.