Common Birthing Injuries That Expectant Mothers Should Be Aware Of

Friday, August 6, 2021

Birth injuries are more common than people realize and they are a big source of anxiety for expectant mothers. There are a lot of factors that can increase the chances of your baby being injured during birth. Large babies are more likely to have difficult births and their risk of injury is higher. The same is true of premature babies because their bodies are not fully formed and they are more fragile. When babies are presented abnormally (being born feet first, for example) or the labor is prolonged, the risk of injury is increased too.

Understanding what the risks are and what kind of injuries your baby could sustain during a difficult birth will help you prepare for your newborn and help you alleviate your anxieties. You should speak with your doctor beforehand if you are concerned about anything, but these are some of the common birthing injuries that you should be aware of.
Erb’s Palsy
Erb’s Palsy is a common injury that happens when excess pressure is applied to the shoulders during birth, causing nerve damage. When babies are suffering from Erb’s Palsy, they may lose the motion and feeling in their arms. In some cases, physical therapy will correct the problem after a few months but if there is permanent nerve damage, surgical treatments may be needed. Often, Erb’s Palsy is caused by incorrect birthing techniques or use of implements, in which case, you need to contact an erb's palsy lawyer and make a medical malpractice claim. If you are concerned about Erb’s Palsy, make sure that you keep an eye on the way that your baby moves its arms and if you notice anything out of the ordinary, get in touch with a doctor right away.
Bruising And Forcep Marks
This can be quite alarming and when parents first notice bruising and forcep marks on their baby, they are concerned that they have serious injuries. However, this is a common injury that often occurs because of pressure on the baby’s head as they pass through the birthing canal. If forceps are used to assist with the birth, these can cause bruising too. But these are usually superficial injuries that are only temporary, so even though they look quite serious, they will fade quickly and won’t lead to any lasting problems.
Swelling Of The Scalp
Swelling of the scalp, known as Caput succedaneum, can happen to all babies, but it is more common in babies that have been delivered by vacuum extraction. As the baby exits the birthing canal, pressure on the head and particularly the scalp can cause swelling and bruising. Again, this may look more serious than it is and the swelling will usually go away in a few days.
Babies have very fragile skeletons when they are first born, so they may experience fractures. Fractured collar bones are especially common during a breech delivery or when there are problems delivering the baby’s shoulders. However, a fracture is not as serious as you might think because they heal very quickly in babies.

Birthing injuries are very scary for new parents but, in most cases, they heal very quickly and they are not a cause for concern.

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