Many babies suffer from a physical injury during the birth process. A birth injury may come in several levels of severity, from bruising and broken bones to damaged nerves, paralysis, and more. While some are self-healing injuries, others require prompt and proper treatment.
There are also cases where the injuries may result in a lifelong disability and impairment. Note that some birth injuries might be unavoidable and out of your control. However, there are ways to reduce risks and impact with some preparation and the help of an experienced medical professional.
Below we’ll walk you through how birth injuries occur and what are the top prevention tips you can follow.
Common Birth Injuries and Their Potential Causes
There are many birth injuries that you will encounter before, during, and after childbirth, and these are the most common types.
Brachial Plexus Injuries and Erb’s Palsy
Erb’s Palsy is a treatable childbirth injury that affects the movement of the shoulder and arms, sometimes leading to paralysis.
As a result, an infant with Erb’s palsy experiences arms weakness and loss of motion. This condition is often caused by physical injury in childbirth or a traumatic force that damages the brachial plexus.
Cerebral Palsy is a brain injury caused by a lack of oxygen supply to the brain. This happens before, during, or shortly after childbirth.
This type of childbirth injury can result in many symptoms, like problems with fine motor skills, muscle tone, and developmental delays. In addition, it affects the child’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture.
Perinatal asphyxia is a childbirth injury that affects the fetus’s blood flow or oxygen exchange before or after childbirth. It involves the tissues and ultimately the vital organs, including the brain.
This injury can occur due to maternal events like uterine rupture, umbilical cord knot, placenta infection, etc.
Head and Brain Injuries
Brain injury in childbirth can happen to an unborn baby or during birth. Infant brain or head injury can be caused by external trauma, congenital disabilities, or oxygen deprivation during childbirth or pregnancy.
Some of the early signs or physical manifestations of head or brain injury include an overly prominent forehead, under-sized head, abnormal or distorted facial features, neck stiffness, etc.
When Should You Need A Birth Injury Lawyer?
If your newborn babies encounter any of these injuries, it is always best to consult medical experts to do the necessary assessment and appropriate treatment.
But beyond the treatment, if you find the injury could have been prevented or caused by medical malpractice, you can consider speaking to a birth injury lawyer to pursue legal actions. Birth injury lawyers will help you evaluate your case and determine any legal action you can pursue against the hospital or any medical practitioner that handles the delivery.
For example, if your baby suffers from Erb’s palsy injury in a hospital in New York, you can talk to Erb’s Palsy attorneys like Duffy and Duffy. Duffy and Duffy are erbs palsy lawyers in new york who can give advice and guidance for New York based clients needing help on Erb’s palsy injury case. They can help you maximize compensation for the patient’s recovery.
Top 6 Tips to Prevent Birth Injuries
Most childbirth injuries are treatable and preventable by doing some of these tips:
1. Have Enough Sleep
Sleep is a necessity during pregnancy. Lack of sleep during pregnancy impacts the mother’s labor and delivery. And this can result in some complications like preeclampsia, which may also lead to premature birth. Therefore, pregnant women need a few more hours of sleep or supplemented naps during the day.
Always make sure that you get 7 to 9 hours of quality sleep daily to allow healthy bodily function and restore energy.
2. Get Regular Prenatal Care
It is best to get regular prenatal care before getting pregnant to ensure a healthy pregnancy. It reduces pregnancy-related complications and prevents childbirth injury, delivery problems, and health risks.
According to a study, prenatal care is the most effective way to reduce preterm labor and avoid low birth weight among high-risk women.
3. Maintain a Healthy Eating Lifestyle
It is crucial to maintain a healthy eating lifestyle during pregnancy, and these are some healthy eating patterns that you can do:
- Eat fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein-rich foods, and fat-free or low-fat dairy products.
- Eat fish and shellfish; careful with high-mercury content fish that may be harmful to you and the baby
- Limit intakes of refined grains and starchy foods, sugar, saturated fats, and salt
4. Take Vitamins and Supplements
Consuming what’s required by your body and the baby is necessary. Some essential nutrients needed for supplementation are folate, iron, iodine, and some vitamins.
But remember, never self-prescribe as it can do more harm than good if not taken correctly. Supplementations and vitamin intake need guidance from your doctor.
5. Stop Smoking, Drinking, and Drug Use
This is a no-brainer reminder during pregnancy. Effects of smoking, alcohol drinking, and drug use include:
- Premature birth
- Underweight baby
- Increased risk of congenital disabilities
- Slows down growth and development before birth
- Abnormal bleeding during pregnancy and delivery
- Can damage the baby’s lungs and brain
6. Choose the Right and Reliable Doctor
Always go to the right and the most reliable doctor to provide you with the necessary medical care during pregnancy and childbirth. Get a trusted obstetrician, a family doctor, and a pediatrician. They have different expertise about pregnancy and birth that helps you during pregnancy, delivery, and infant care.
Pregnancy and childbirth are celebrated events that most women and couples dreamt of. And everyone wishes to have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. But it is devastating if it happens otherwise, like if a baby gets a childbirth injury.And in such cases, you can always get the guidance of the best doctors for the treatment and intervention. And if it is necessary to get help for treatment support and other claims, you can always go to a birth injury lawyer for guidance and advice on the right things to do.
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