When you go into the hospital and have a child, you expect the utmost care for yourself and your child. Unfortunately, sometimes, mistakes occur during childbirth.
Some of these mistakes can result in birth injuries. Watch for these signs.
During or after delivery
Near the time of birth, look for injuries, including swelling, bruises and scratches, on your baby’s head and face as well as his or her shoulders. Watch for limp arms as well. Watch for seizures for the first few days after birth. Pay attention to your child’s breathing and note whether he or she starts breathing immediately or needs CPR or other breathing help during or just after delivery.
Within one year
Symptoms of some injuries may not show up until well after you leave the hospital. These include developmental delays, e.g., the inability to sit up, crawl or walk. They may experience joint or muscle stiffness and an inability to control their movements, especially in their legs and arms. They may also have difficulty clapping or grasping and have delayed or no reaction to light in their eyes and loud noises. Injured babies may have difficulty eating and speaking simple words. Finally, look for small head size or slower head growth.
Specific injury signs
Skull fractures and bleeding on the brain may cause cerebral palsy, so look for swelling in the neck and ears, excessive drooling, eating challenges, not reaching milestones, stiff or uncontrolled muscles and favoring one side of the body.
Symptoms of nerve injuries include paralysis or atrophied limbs, lack of limb movement and range of motion, limb numbness or weakness and overly tight fingers and wrists.
Look for anything unusual, even later in childhood, including fatigue, behavioral issues and physical or brain development issues, because these signs may reveal a birth injury.