If your family has just had a child in Maryland or is about to have one, you may have some worries about the childbirth process. Childbirth can be traumatic not just for the woman giving birth, but for the baby as well.
An injury sustained during the birthing process is known as a birth injury. Birth injuries are often minor and will heal over time, but they can sometimes be more severe and have lifelong implications.
The birth injuries your child is most likely to face
Stanford Children’s Health provides useful information that can help you to understand birth injuries and how they happen. Sometimes a baby can be injured in a significant way, such as when the collarbone or clavicle is fractured during delivery, or if a bundle of nerves is damaged, affecting sensation in the hands or arms.
Another common nerve injury is one that can paralyze the infant’s face by damaging its nerves. Less significant injuries can include breakage of small blood vessels, bleeding underneath a cranial bone or a bruised or swollen head. Any injury around the face or head should be treated immediately.
Risk factors for birth injuries
Whenever a forceps or vacuum is used or a cesarean section is performed, it is much more likely for one of the above injuries to happen. Size and weight make a difference as well, as an overweight mother or a large baby are both factors that exacerbate the risk of birth injury.
Complications such as weak contractions or a premature baby also coincide with a higher birth injury rate. Lastly, a baby that is not born head-first may be injured on the way out.