How Birth Injuries Impact Children’s Lives

Birth injuries are injuries incurred during birth. Birth injuries include injuries incurred by the fetus during labor and injuries sustained by the newborn during and after delivery. Birth injuries can be injuries sustained by the infant or the mother.

Every month, 2,333 infants born in the United States suffer a birth injury. Birth injuries can have a permanent impact on a child’s quality of life. Understanding how birth injuries can impact your child can help you make the best decisions possible to address a birth injury.

Common Birth Injuries



Common birth injuries include brachial plexus injury, Cerebral palsy, and spinal cord injuries. How your child may be affected by a birth injury will depend, in part, on the type of injury sustained.

The nerves that run across a person’s chest are known as the brachial plexus. These nerves send signals between your spinal cord and your arm and hand. When these nerves are damaged at birth, newborns suffer brachial plexus injuries.

Brain damage causes Cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy paralyzes part of the brain, which can cause muscle paralysis. Spinal cord damage can cause physical paralysis or other issues, such as problems with bladder control. Some spinal cord damage can also cause breathing issues.

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can cause brain damage. Most infants with brain damage have permanent neurological issues stemming from the TBI. Brain damage can impact a person’s decision-making skills or ability to regulate their emotions.

Erb’s palsy is caused by nerve damage to the cluster of nerves near a person’s shoulder. Forceps and vacuum extraction are common causes of Erb’s palsy.

Physical Implications



A child with a birth injury may need physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy to improve their ability to move, speak, and swallow. They may also be confined to a wheelchair.

Brachial plexus injuries can affect one or both arms and hands. Cerebral palsy primarily affects motor skills. Children with Cerebral palsy may have difficulty balancing and moving. Some people with brain damage have physical complications, such as issues with their vision, balance, and breathing. Erb’s palsy affects a person’s ability to move their hand, shoulder, and arm.

Respiratory problems could also affect your child. Google “pulmonary doctor near me” to find a pulmonologist who treats severe respiratory issues, such as asthma and bronchopulmonary dysplasia. MediFind allows you to input your location and choose a radius. The site then lists all relevant medical specialists within the designated search radius.

Other Implications



Birth traumas can cause severe complications that require newborns to be hospitalized for days or even months, limiting contact between the parents and child. Parents who have limited physical contact with their child are unable to comfort and reassure their child. Studies highlight the physical and emotional benefits of parental proximity and contact with infants, and limiting physical contact can affect the newborn’s brain development. It’s also harder for infants and parents to bond when they experience prolonged and repeated periods of separation.

A newborn’s birth injury can also have severe implications for the parents’ mental health. Parents may struggle with depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) stemming from the birth injury. In critical cases, parents may be unwilling to risk another birth trauma and decide not to have more children. Some parents may also feel guilt, even if they weren’t responsible for the injury. Their guilt may impair their ability to bond with their child.

Legal Options



Children with birth injuries may live with permanent physical, mental, and emotional issues stemming from birth trauma. Parents can consider hiring a birth injury attorney if medical professionals may be guilty of negligence and caused the birth injury. Google “birth injury attorney in Chicago” to find reputable birth injury attorneys in your area. Whether your child was affected by lack of oxygen during birth or a birth defect caused by the use of a vacuum, your lawyer may be able to secure a verdict that ensures you’ll receive financial compensation for your child’s birth injury.

Keep in mind that a prolonged legal battle may take an emotional toll on your family and your child. You should consider the extent of their injuries, the long-term costs of treatment for the injury, and the impact that injury will have on your child’s life to determine if a lawsuit is appropriate.

Birth injuries can have a short-term or permanent impact on a child’s physical, mental, and emotional health. Some children may require medical care and therapy to address their birth injury. Birth injuries can also take a toll on parents, causing mental health challenges that affect their relationship with their child, particularly if the family pursues a lengthy lawsuit over the birth injury.