Understanding birth injuries

Expectant parents in Pennsylvania have much to look forward to with the births of their children. When birth injuries happen, however, those bright futures can be quickly dimmed. A problem in the delivery process can happen before, during or after the actual birth. Cerebral palsy and Erb’s palsy are two of the most common conditions that babies can suffer from after such a problem.

Cerebral palsy negatively impacts a person’s ability to move, balance or otherwise control muscular movements. According to WebMD, as many as 20 percent of cerebral palsy cases are due to birth injuries. Nerve damage in the shoulder region during birth can lead to Erb’s palsy, also called brachial plexus palsy. Babies with this condition will experience a weakness or even complete paralysis of the arm.

A birth injury case can be caused by many things, including the lack of proper medical response when complications arise during pregnancy or labor. Placental abruptions, for example, need specific intervention in order to prevent serious consequences, according to The American Pregnancy Association. When the placenta separates from the uterus, the nutrition and oxygen supply to the fetus is compromised.

As many as one out of every 150 pregnancies may be affected by a placental abruption. Warning signs include changes in fetal heart rate or movement, vaginal bleeding or blood loss by both mother and baby. Babies affected by this risk premature birth, low birth weight or even a 15 percent chance of death without appropriate intervention.

Parents-to-be can educate themselves about birth injuries before labor begins. This can be one way of helping to maintain proactivity during labor to avoid complications and associated injuries.