The birth of your baby should bring joy and induce a celebratory moment among you, your family, and your friends. However, these celebrations may not last for long. You may realize that there is something wrong with your son or daughter, only for you to find out they've suffered a severe birth injury.
Many birth injuries to newborns are largely preventable. No parent deserves to deliver a child that ends up suffering a birth injury. As a parent, you should be on the lookout for any signs and symptoms of birth injury.
What Is a Birth Injury?
Birth injury — sometimes called birth trauma — is any type of harm that a baby suffers when being born. An injury may occur before, during, or shortly after delivery. These injuries are mainly categorized as nerve injuries, brain damage, or orthopedic injuries.
Birth injuries may occur due to unforeseen circumstances or negligence by medical professionals during the birth of your child. There are various factors that increase the likelihood of birth trauma, such as:
- • Abnormal positioning of the baby
- • Prolonged labor
- • Premature Birth
- • Baby weighing over 8 pounds
- • Mother's pelvic size and shape for vaginal birth
Many babies suffer from minor birth injuries that don't require treatment. However, some birth injuries can lead to severe complications that may last for the rest of your child's life.
What are the signs of a Preventable Birth Injury?
Many birth injuries are preventable. As a newborn parent, you may notice that something isn't right with your child after delivery.
Here are five signs that your child is suffering from a preventable birth injury in Baltimore, Maryland, or Washington, D.C.:
Limited Arm Movement
The arms and shoulders of newborns are commonly affected during birth injuries. Shoulder dystocia may occur during birth resulting in an injury. This happens when the baby's shoulders become stuck inside the mother's pelvis during delivery.
If a doctor jerks the baby's arm during such a period, the baby could suffer tendon, ligament, or nerve damage. An emergency c-section or the use of efficient birthing techniques can help to prevent injuries to your newborn's arms or shoulders.
If your child has limited arm movement, they may be suffering from Erb's palsy — which is preventable. Also known as brachial plexus birth palsy, the condition affects one or two in every 1,000 newborns. It happens when the brachial plexus (set of nerves in the shoulder) is damaged by traumatic force during delivery.
Brain-related birth injuries usually become apparent when a child gets older. Your child may not develop new skills that other kids his or her age have already acquired. For instance, babies typically start crawling at around nine months. If your child hasn't crawled by 18 months, this may be an indication that there could be a problem.
If your child fails to hit certain milestones at the recommended age, you should visit a physician to seek professional medical help. Such motor or cognitive delays may be preventable. Your child's medical records can help our legal team build an airtight birth injury malpractice case against all negligent parties.
Smaller than Normal Head
The head of a baby grows as its brain grows. This isn't always the case when a baby suffers a birth injury during pregnancy. Microcephaly is a rare neurological condition that occurs when the baby's brain develops abnormally, causing its head to be smaller than normal when compared to the heads of other babies of the same age and sex.
Microcephaly may occur due to maternal prenatal infections, like the Zika virus or German measles. Acquired microcephaly may happen when oxygen supply is cut off from the baby after birth. Some of the most common symptoms of microcephaly include:
A birth injury may affect your baby's brain development, causing them to experience feeding issues. Your baby may find it hard to eat, chew, suckle, or swallow. This may be an indication that your child is suffering from facial palsy that's caused by damage to facial nerves.
Most children who suffer from facial palsy fully recover with time. As a parent, it's advisable to be on the lookout for issues like suckling or eating problems. If you are facing such situations, you should reach out to a birth-related injury attorney immediately.
Unresponsive to Sounds
Another sign and symptom of birth injury is if your child doesn't respond to verbal prompts. At six months, if your baby doesn't respond to sounds by making their own sounds or respond when you call them by their name, they may be suffering from a birth injury. A nine-month-old baby should understand the meaning of "no" and be able to imitate other people's sounds.
What Should I Do if I Suspect My Child Had a Preventable Birth Injury?
Signs and symptoms of birth injury may be apparent immediately after birth. At times, these signs may take a while before they start manifesting. If you notice your child is showing any signs of a birth injury, reach out to your physician immediately. Your child's health is of utmost importance.
Once your child is in the care of a reputable doctor, contact a birth injury lawyer to find out if you have a case. At D'Amore Personal Injury Law, our attorneys have the skills and resources necessary to handle medical malpractice cases. We will conduct independent investigations to determine who was liable for your child's birth injury, be it doctors, nurses, or midwives, and hold them accountable for their actions.
Contact us today to schedule your free case review. Our reputable birth injury law firm, serving residents of Baltimore, Maryland, and Washington, D.C., operates on a contingency fee basis. We are ready to help you get the justice and compensation you deserve for your child's preventable birth injury. Let us handle your personal injury case while you focus on your child's recovery.