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What expectant parents need to know about birth injuries

On Behalf of | Jun 2, 2023 | Birth Injuries |

If you’re an expectant parent, then you’re probably excited to welcome your child into the world. And there’s a lot that goes into the process of preparing yourself for your child’s arrival. You’ll need to ready your house, talk to your other children about what to expect, and ensure that you have all of the necessities needed to care for your newborn.

It’s certainly a joy-filled time riddled with anticipation. But all of your excitement can be quickly dashed when a medical mistake leads to an unexpected birth injury. But not all of these birth injuries are readily apparent, which means you need to be observant after your child’s birth to ensure you catch any signs that they may have been harmed by medical malpractice.

Causes of birth injuries

A number of missteps and circumstances can lead to a birth injury. This includes each of the following:

  • An awkwardly positioned child that leads to a longer and more complicated labor
  • Prolonged labor
  • Larger babies that render the birthing process more challenging
  • Premature births
  • Abnormal fetal positioning
  • Improper use of forceps or a vacuum during delivery
  • Improper fetal monitoring
  • Improper use of force during the birthing process

These circumstances can lead to oxygen deprivation that results in brain damage, damage to nerve bundles, and even blunt force trauma, sometimes resulting in conditions like cerebral palsy and Erb’s palsy.

Any one of these situations can result in your child suffering extensive, even lifelong harm. But, as mentioned above, you might not always catch the injury at first, which is why you need to be diligent in following up on any concerns that you might have after your child’s birth.

Signs that your child has suffered a birth injury

When considering whether your child has been injured during the birthing process, there are some signs and symptoms that you can be on the lookout for. This includes:

  • Injuries to your child’s face, including bruising and swelling
  • Bone fractures
  • An unexpected floppiness in your child’s limbs
  • Your child’s difficulty to start breathing after birth
  • Limb and joint stiffness
  • Difficult or delay in sitting, crawling, and walking
  • Delayed development of motor skills
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • The child favors one side of their body
  • Lack of muscle control
  • Excessive drooling

Again, some of these symptoms might be immediately observable, but others will take time to show. You just need to make sure that you’re observant and asking questions once you notice that something is off. After all, some birth injuries are better treated the more quickly you can get care for them.

What to do after a birth injury

A birth injury can be heartbreaking. After all, it can affect your child’s health for a long time to come, and your child’s condition can be expensive and time-consuming to treat. One you realize that your child has suffered a birth injury, you should immediately secure the medical care that they need and follow all treatment recommendations.

Then, you might want to think about taking legal action against the negligent medical professionals who caused your child’s harm. If you’re successful in doing so, then you might be able to recover the compensation that you need to offset your losses while obtaining a sense of justice.

Preparing for the next steps

But to prepare for this claim, you’re going to need to collect your child’s medical records, document your observations of your child’s injuries, and speak to medical professionals about the cause of the injury and its lasting impact. Once you’re armed with this information, you might be well positioned to move forward with your claim.

In the meantime, you might find it helpful to read up on caring for a child who has suffered a birth injury and seek out support groups for parents of children who have your child’s kind of birth injury. By doing so, you’ll hopefully be able to find the relief and support that you need to successfully navigate these trying times.