Common Symptoms of a Birth Injury
The birth of a child is supposed to be one of the happiest days in a person’s life. However, despite all the progress we have made over the years in making childbirth safer for both mother and child, it’s still possible for things to go wrong and when things go wrong, the child can be injured in the process.
Approximately 28,000 babies are born with birth injuries every year in the United States. There are many different types of birth injuries and these injuries can come with several types of symptoms depending on the nature of the injury.
Many signs of birth injuries can easily be noticed shortly after birth. Sometimes a child will have things like bruising, swelling, or lacerations on their head or shoulders. Difficulty breathing is another very common symptom, whether it’s not starting to breathe on their own immediately after delivery or requiring a breathing tube during delivery. The child’s limbs might seem off in some way, either they seem limp or too stiff. A child could also start having seizures within 48 hours of delivery.
Shortly after birth, a child could also have problems with eating. They might also seem exceptionally lethargic, excessively fussy for no obvious reason, or drool excessively. A child with a birth injury might also seem to be sensitive to light.
It’s entirely possible for a child to have a birth injury, but not show any outwardly visible symptoms. Instead, they could have general health problems which could indicate a birth injury, such as a low heart rate, low oxygen levels in the blood, difficulty gaining weight, anemia, wheezing, hypertension or hypotension, vision or hearing problems, or an excessively pale or waxy appearance to the skin.
Birth injuries often show themselves through a child’s muscles. A child could experience muscle spasms or tremors, have weak reflexes, have a hand that curls up in a claw-like shape, poor coordination, pulling of the neck, favor one side of their body, generally have poor muscle control, or not seem to have full use of their limbs.
As a child with a birth injury grows, they might have a hard time meeting developmental milestones like learning how to sit up on their own, stand, crawl, talk, or walk. Developing the fine motor skills needed to do things like pick things up and hold them, dress themselves, draw or color, or use an eating utensil or cup could be very difficult for them.
Many birth injury symptoms include problems with mental cognition. These types of symptoms could take years to become noticeable and might not even be discovered until a child is getting ready to enter school. A child could have a hard time thinking logically or having a hard time solving problems. They also might have general memory problems or have a hard time understanding how actions can have consequences.
If your child is exhibiting any of these symptoms, consult a trusted physician. It’s entirely possible symptoms such as these are actually signs of other issues and aren’t related to a birth injury. A physician will be able to determine what the root cause of the problem is.