Birth trauma is a broad term for birth injury that happens to a baby during a difficult birth. Birth injury like cephalohematoma, bone fractures, cerebral palsy, and many more would fall under the category of birth trauma. Although birth trauma happens often with recent technological advances it is still a very real possibility and one that many living in the united states may still face.
Causes of Birth Trauma
Even in a healthy pregnancy there is still a risk that the baby may face birth trauma. Although it is far more likely in a high-risk pregnancy, birth trauma can be caused not just by a difficult birth but by medical malpractice. With doctors working longer hours and many births occurring in the same hospital, there are room for mistakes. But what can cause these mistakes?
- #1 Birth Trauma Cause – Forceps
- #2 Birth Trauma Cause – Pulling the Baby from the Birth Canal
- #3 Birth Trauma Cause – Difficult Birth
- A difficult birth can cause many instances of birth trauma. When a baby gets trapped in the birth canal many things can go wrong. From lack of oxygen to the need for intervention, almost ever type of birth injury could be caused by this type of trauma.
- #4 Birth Trauma Cause – C-Section
Common Forms of Birth Trauma
Birth trauma encompasses all forms of birth injury. There are many types of birth injury that can occur to a baby during birth but some of the most common might be surprising.
- #1 Common Birth Trauma – Cephalohematoma
- Cephalohematoma is a type of birth trauma that causes a bump on your babies head. This is the safest form of birth trauma and will generally heal in a matter of weeks to a month.
- #2 Common Birth Trauma – Bruising & Broken Bones
- Although safer than many other forms of birth trauma, these kinds of injuries could lead to large problems if not treated immediately.
- #3 Common Birth Trauma – Subconjunctival hemorrhage
- This kind of birth trauma is caused when the blood vessels in your babies eyes begin to bleed and leave red lines across the eyes. It sounds a lot scarier than it actually is and will often heal within a few days.
- #4 Common Birth Trauma – Bell’s Palsy
- Bell’s palsy is when the nerves in your babies face are damaged after a difficult birth. This can often be caused by forceps or general pressure applied to the babies face for a long time. On the side of the face effected, the eye will not close and the face will not move when the baby cries. If the nerves are just bruised, your baby will heal over time. If the nerve was torn however your baby may need surgery to recover muscle control.
- #5 Common Birth Trauma – Brachial Plexus
- Brachial Plexus injuries occur during a difficult birth when the doctor pulls on the arm of the baby damaging the brachial plexus nerves. In a minor case with bruising to the nerves, your baby can quickly recover over time. But in a more serious case, your baby may never recover from the nerve damage.
Seeking Help After Birth Trauma
If your child has experienced birth trauma after a difficult birth there are many resources out their toward recover. Joining a support group in-person or online is always an option to talk through your emotions. Seeking therapy and local resources can help you and your child learn to live with a long term disability. Or you can look into legal help to seek compensation for your injuries. If you need help on your journey you can always contact the Safe Birth Project for help.