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5 common birth injuries to understand

On Behalf of | Mar 29, 2024 | Birth Injuries

Birth injuries can happen due to various factors, such as prolonged labor, improper use of medical tools or complications during delivery. While some injuries may resolve on their own, others can lead to long-term challenges.

Being informed about these conditions can help parents recognize the signs and seek appropriate care for their baby.

1. Cerebral palsy

Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that affect movement, balance and posture. It results from damage to the developing brain, which can occur before, during or shortly after birth. Symptoms may include stiff or floppy muscle tone, delayed milestones and difficulty with coordination.

2. Traumatic brain injury

Traumatic brain injury can occur when the baby’s head experiences excessive force during delivery. This may happen due to prolonged labor, a difficult birth or the use of forceps or vacuum extraction. Symptoms of TBI can include seizures, irritability and difficulty feeding.

3. Brachial plexus injury

The brachial plexus is a network of nerves that control the movement and sensation in the arm and hand. When these nerves get stretched or torn during delivery, it can lead to weakness or paralysis in the affected arm. Most cases of brachial plexus injury resolve on their own, but some may require physical therapy or surgery.

4. Erb’s palsy

Erb’s palsy is a type of brachial plexus injury that specifically affects the upper arm. It occurs when the nerves that control the shoulder, elbow and wrist suffer damage. Symptoms may include a limp or paralyzed arm, loss of sensation and a decreased range of motion.

5. Shoulder dystocia

Shoulder dystocia happens when the baby’s shoulder becomes stuck behind the mother’s pubic bone during delivery. This can cause the baby to experience a lack of oxygen and may lead to nerve damage in the arm or shoulder. Prompt recognition and management of shoulder dystocia are important to prevent serious complications.

If you suspect that your child has experienced a birth injury, do not hesitate to seek medical attention and support. Remember, early intervention and proper care can make a significant difference in your child’s development and quality of life.