Birth Injuries: Risk Factors Mothers Should Know About

As a new parent waiting for the arrival of their little one into this world, most mothers may be a bit excited and scared for their new responsibilities. They can’t wait for their babies to see the outside world. Because of this, the idea of something going wrong before and during childbirth won’t cross their minds. However, there are instances wherein birth injuries can happen.

Factors Contributing To Birth Injuries 

A birth injury is known as serious physical damage sustained by an infant in the course of the labor and delivery process. It’s considered an unpredictable occurrence during childbirth. But some things may contribute to the happening of birth injuries.  

Below are a few risk factors associated with birth injuries you should know about: 

1. Instruments Used In Deliveries 

One of the common risk factors for birth injuries is the instruments being used in deliveries, especially when there’s size or shape issues. They can aggravate or cause a certain injury if they’re used by the attending physician improperly. As such, it’s important for mothers to be familiar with the tools to be used. These can include: 

  • Forceps: These are used to guide the baby by applying traction to its head. However, when the doctor improperly places the forceps into the baby’s head, it may cause serious harm to the brain or skull.
  • Vacuum Extractions: It refers to a delivery technique that uses a vacuum to pull the baby’s head through the birth canal. But when the doctor misuses this instrument, it can end up being stuck at the back of the mother’s pelvis after the delivery of the head. This situation can end up with the baby having Erb’s palsy, skull fractures, and brachial plexus injuries.

As you can see, birth injuries to babies can happen during instrumental deliveries. But most of these occurrences may be attributed to the doctor’s negligence in providing the standard of care required from them. Hence, when the baby born in Michigan sustains an injury as a result of the improper use of delivery instruments, mothers may consider speaking to a birth injury lawyer in Michigan or wherever they may be to get some legal advice on the matter.  

2. Abnormal Delivery Position 

Aside from the size or shape issues, delivery positions can also put babies at risk for birth injuries. Typically, the normal delivery position is the baby’s head is delivered first and face down. However, if the baby has an abnormal position, mothers may experience difficult labor and their babies may be susceptible to sustaining injuries. 

When this happens, your doctor should inform you about the situation and recommend performing a caesarian section. While it doesn’t completely avoid the risk of a birth injury, it can still reduce the risk.  

3. Risk Of Preterm Labor

Another risk factor for birth injuries mothers should be aware of is the risk of preterm labor. This usually happens when the baby is delivered earlier than the expected delivery date. Babies born during preterm labor are more susceptible to health risks. Although there’s no specific cause for this condition, the following may be associated with an increased risk of preterm labor: 

  • Age of the mother 
  • The lifestyle of the mother 
  • Domestic violence 
  • Drinking alcohol 
  • Smoking
  • Using illegal drugs

Due to these, doctors often advise pregnant mothers to do bed rest and follow a healthy lifestyle to prevent the possibility of preterm labor. But in case the labor comes prematurely, the doctor should perform every preventive measure to safeguard the health of the baby and the mother against birth injuries.  

4. Birth Defects 

Generally, birth defects are different from birth injuries because the former are abnormalities that are genetically inherited by the infant. Unlike birth injuries, they’re not caused by any trauma during childbirth.  

However, birth defects that aren’t addressed properly can lead to injuries. As such, attending doctors and hospital staff should be ready to handle these defects to ensure the good functioning of critical organs, a healthy heart rate, and many more. That way, mothers can lessen the risk of any injuries their babies may sustain.  

Bottom Line 

Dealing with birth injuries can be a devastating experience for any mother. It can also result in birth trauma, especially if the delivery doesn’t go well as expected. When this happens, the excitement and happiness they feel may be replaced with resentment because of their little ones being injured at birth. Therefore, it’s best for pregnant mothers to be familiar with the risk factors so they’ll know what to do to mitigate them.

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