If you mention the term birth trauma, you may find that there are several meanings behind it. Some women experience such difficulty during delivery – actually fearing for their life or that of the unborn baby – that it creates a traumatic disorder in the months or even years that follow. Another meaning is the injury that a baby or mother might sustain during delivery. Thus, birth trauma symptoms of the physical kind range widely.
For infants, the most common risks are head traumas and the problems that result include:
- Cerebral palsy that can be due to birth trauma and lack of oxygen.
- Perinatal asphyxia when a baby is deprived of oxygen for a period of time long enough to cause harm to the body or brain.
- Erb’s palsy that harms the nerves in the arm and shoulder area during birth.
- Brachial plexus palsy is due to shoulder trauma during birth.
- Meconimu aspiration syndrome, when a baby inhales the meconium due to stress during labor.
- Head trauma that can lead to traumatic brain injury, “caput succedaneum, cephalohematoma, normal head deformity due to birth forces, subgaleal hemorrhage, subdural hemorrhage, subarachnoid hemorrhage, and epidural hemorrhage” (TraumaticBrainInjury.com)
- Injury from mechanical forces during a difficult birth
Clearly, birth trauma symptoms can vary widely specifically because there is such a long list of possible problems and conditions. Some of the most obvious of birth trauma symptoms, though, will include:
- Lethargy or an appearance of unconsciousness
- Back arching while crying
- Difficulty breathing or panting as if breathless
- Excessive crying or fussiness
- High pitched crying or grunting sounds
- Hyper sensitivity to light
- Lack of responsiveness
Additionally, you may want to watch for birth trauma symptoms that relate directly to the conditions that some injuries or problems cause. For example, low heart rate or oxygen levels, fever, hearing difficulties, hypertension, anemia, and inflamed nasal passages are often birth trauma symptoms that parents or family may mistake for health concerns.
Remember too that birth trauma symptoms may relate to the damages done to organs or limbs. For instance, curled hands, muscle stiffness, arms or hands bending towards the body, an absence of reflexes, favoring one side of the body, fractures of any kind or weak movements may also be clear indicators that a baby has suffered a birth trauma.
Even then, some symptoms take days or weeks of observation in order for them to be detected. Developmental delays, as an example, may be a prime indicator or symptom that birth trauma occurred. Parents who note that an infant frequently fails to display developmental milestones at the appropriate times, and who seems somewhat delayed in many areas, will want to discuss such matters with their physician.
For example, if a child is unable to hold up its head by five months or does not respond to sound by the age of six months, these may be signs of a birth trauma.
Birth injuries of this kind grow rarer and rarer each year, and yet they still do occur. According to some statistics, roughly six to eight injuries still happen per one thousand births, with risks increasing with the overall size and weight of the baby being born. Adequate prenatal care and the formulation of a birth plan can help doctors and patients overcome any challenges or risks. The key is to be aware of any concerns or problems, and discuss the alternatives.
If a birth trauma has occurred, do not hesitate to seek legal help or advice in order to pursue the matter.