What causes birth injuries?

As an expectant parent, you may feel a range of excitement and anxiety when it comes to giving birth. You may have concerns over something happening to your baby.

Birth injuries do still occur. While many are short-term, others may present many problems for your child’s life moving forward. Familiarize yourself with what may cause injuries to your baby before and after birth.

What causes birth injuries?

The birthing process is traumatic for a baby’s body. A doctor may assist with the baby’s delivery, only to inadvertently cause an injury, such as a shoulder dislocation. Labor may cause your baby harm, especially if it lasts too long. Delayed birth may result in neurological issues in a newborn.

What are the most common birth injuries?

There are some injuries to newborns that occur at higher rates than others:

  • Superficial bruising: The pressure on the baby’s body may result in temporary bruising. A doctor using forceps or vacuum extraction may also cause scrapes and cuts on a baby.
  • Bone fractures: The clavicle may break as a doctor attempts to help the baby’s shoulders navigate the birth canal.
  • Nerve damage: Some nerve damage may occur to localized areas of the body, such as the face or arm, due to the delivery circumstances. These may resolve, require treatment or remain permanent.
  • Oxygen deprivation: When a baby does not get enough oxygen, the brain may start to suffer. Hypoxia is a condition that results from a lack of oxygen flow to a baby’s brain. This may occur if labor continues too long. Babies with lengthy bouts of time without oxygen may have permanent brain damage.

If you suspect that your baby has an injury, regardless of what it is, you may want to consult with someone trained to deal with birth injuries.

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