Improved medical technology works to protect both mother and child during an infant’s delivery, but what happens when something goes wrong and your baby suffers a birth injury? While the National Institute for Biotechnology Information notes that instances of birth trauma are on the decline, with a significant drop in instrument-assisted deliveries over the past 30 years, these incidents may still occur and cause long-term medical effects to your baby.
Understanding the consequences of a birth injury may help you weigh your options for the future when it comes to treatment, care and any possible legal action against the physician or medical facility that you feel is responsible for the incident.
Head and brain injuries
Some of the most common childbirth injuries may occur to your infant’s head and brain during delivery. The use of instruments during delivery can increase the odds of trauma, including:
- Skull fracture
- Intracranial hemorrhage
- Injuries to the cranial nerves
Any of these injuries could cause neurological problems in your child as he or she begins to grow. They are also generally more associated with a vaginal delivery as compared to a Cesarian birth.
Your child could suffer a range of spinal injuries during birth that usually occur during breech or instrument-assisted birth. The spine may rotate incorrectly during delivery, causing partial or complete paralysis. As a result, your baby could experience bladder and bowel issues later in life or experience numbness or paralysis in one or both arms, depending on which vertebrae experience injury during delivery.
Some birth injuries may respond well to neo-natal treatment and surgery. While the risk is lower than in previous years, proper prenatal care may further reduce the odds of requiring an instrument-assisted birth.