Birth Injuries Causes and Types

Having a child is a very stressful but happy time for every one concerned. Most parents wait breathlessly for the first view of their newborn and it’s really a joyful time for every one. But not every child is born completely normal. According to recent statistics seven in every 1,000 babies born in the United States could have a birth injury! Horrifying? Definitely! It’s the duty of every potential parent to be well versed about potential complications and injuries which can arise during delivery and labor and how the doctors deal with it. These injuries can be due to different conditions like prenatal illness of the mother, existing health conditions, delivery complications or even doctor negligence. But please take a closer look at what can cause a potential birth injury in your newborn.

What are the causes of birth injuries?

There can be many reasons for birth injuries and a few of the more common ones are-

  • Large babies over the weight of 4,000 grams or 8 pounds, 13 ounces found in many women who suffer from pregnancy diabetes.
  • Premature babies who are born before 34 weeks are more delicate and susceptible to injuries during delivery.
  • Difference between the child’s head ratio and the mother’s hip ratio. This is called as cephalic pelvic disproportion and can be measured before the delivery process.
  • A generally difficult delivery and birthing process due to an abnormal baby position.

What are the more common types of birth injuries and how are they caused?

Birth injuries are of different varieties and a few of the more commonly seen injuries are as follows.

  1. Caput succaedaneum is a common condition in which there is tremendous swelling of the baby’s scalp as well as facial skin. Its relatively normal as many babies get it by traveling through the birth canal which can result in the swelling and bruising or the scalp Most of the time the swelling disappears without any problem but do get regular checkups done of the new born to prevent any later problems. Most of the time suction delivered babies get this problem but it does go away on its own.
  2. Cephalohematomas is another scary occurrence which can really scare a newborns mom. Bleeding starts between the bone and the fibrous covering which covers it. Although it’s not seen immediately after the delivery it can take a few hours and then the baby can suddenly develop a lump on its head. Please get the infant checked immediately and more often than not the blood gets resorbed on its own. It will last for about two weeks to three months before being absorbed completely.
  3. Fractures of the clavicle are very common in forceps deliveries and usually it’s the clavicle or the shoulder bone which is broken. The baby who has a fractured clavicle or shoulder avoids movement of that affected side but the injury heals rapidly.

I have just listed a few of the common birth injuries commonly seen after a difficult delivery but a few good sites where you can get detailed information on birth injuries is the Mayo clinic site and the Medline site.


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