Expecting parents always wish the best for the birth of their baby and their expectations are that the baby will be born healthy and free of injuries. Unfortunately, some births have complications and the baby suffers some type of injury. Some of these are unpreventable, while others are due to medical error on the part of one of the healthcare providers.
According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, there are various causes of birth injury or trauma. There is a greater chance of injury when a baby is born too early or the baby is in a difficult position, such as butt-first.
The risk for injury increases when there is a long and/or difficult labor, and this can occur due to multiple reasons. Common ones are that the baby is large, or the mom’s pelvic shape is not ideal for delivering a baby vaginally. A long labor can also occur if contractions are not strong enough, and this happens more often when there is an induction of labor.
Women who have a c-section are at greater risk of their babies being born with some sort of issue. If the doctor needs to use forceps or a vacuum to assist delivery, this also can cause problems.
Stanford Children’s Health discusses some common birth injuries. There may be bruising on the body or marks from the forceps. There may also be swelling of the scalp, which is more common with vacuum extraction. A lump on the head often indicates bleeding between the skull bone and its covering.
Fractures can take place during the birth process, and the collarbone is a common one. Nerve damage can occur, as well. Facial paralysis appears when there is damage to the facial nerve, and brachial palsy happens when there is an injury to the nerves of the arms and hands.
Some birth injuries go away on their own over time. Others may have a more lasting impact.