You only want the best for your baby, but sometimes harm comes to them unintentionally. During the birthing process, your baby can experience harm or physical injury; this is known as a birth injury. Birth injuries are not uncommon, sometimes they are temporary and other times they may affect your baby for a lifetime. But what exactly are birth injuries? And what causes them?
What are the chances of my baby getting injured during birth?
Birth injuries range from harmless to serve, either quickly healing or causing disability throughout life. Although significant injury or death during the birth process isn’t as likely, birth injuries are not uncommon – according to the Birth Injury Guide, about 29 in 1000 babies suffer a birth injury of some kind.
Why would my baby become injured during the birth process?
There are several reasons why a baby can experience physical trauma during the birthing process. When you near the end of your pregnancy your baby moves into position for delivery, sometimes babies will move into an abnormal position, such as a breech (feet first), and this can cause them injury when they are born. Other reasons why baby’s may become injured during birth is being abnormally large, the mother’s pelvis is too small, or a long and difficult labour, where the mother’s contractions aren’t strong enough to push her baby out.
What happens if my baby has a birth injury?
Generally, birth injuries affect the babies head neck and shoulders, as babies are generally born head first. There are a variety of injures that your baby could stain from birth trauma, such as bruising of the scalp, broken bones or brain damage. Sometimes these injuries are temporary and other times they can last a lifetime. Your doctors and midwives will assess the damage to your baby and help you and your baby accordingly.
Sometimes babies will sustain trauma during birth, and the injury won’t be noticeable until they have started school or being missing developmental milestones, as they struggle to mentally keep up with their peers or grow at what is considered a normal rate.
Sadly most birth injuries aren’t preventable, but even so, moms whose babies experience birth injuries often feel guilty and angry, as if they are too blame. Although feeling this way is understandable, this is not the case and if you are feeling this way after your baby has experienced a birth injury it is best to speak to a health professional and reply on your partner, friends and family for support.