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Common causes of birth injuries

On Behalf of | Jun 13, 2023 | Birth Injuries

The childbirth process puts extreme physical demands on the mother and the infant passing through the birth canal. Physicians in Idaho and around the country strive to assist birth without causing harm, but various circumstances could result in harm to the baby. Some birth injuries heal within a few weeks although they look alarming in the beginning, such as head swelling or burst vessels in the eyes. Other birth injuries result in broken bones or torn nerves. Serious nerve damage often requires surgery to repair the damage.

Birth injury risk factors

Parents strive to do everything that they can to promote a safe birth, but many issues could be outside of your control. Large babies in excess of 8 pounds 13 ounces have a greater risk of birth injuries. They experience extra pressure inside the birth canal due to their size.

Premature babies are more vulnerable to injuries during birth as well. The delicacy of their underdeveloped bodies makes it very easy to cause them harm.

A condition known as cephalopelvic disproportion results in some infant injuries. This condition occurs when the mother’s pelvis has a shape that obstructs birth.

Forceps and vacuum extraction injuries

Physicians may choose to use tools to help pull out a stuck infant. A forceps gripping the head can leave bruises on the face or head. These minor injuries normally resolve in a couple weeks. A vacuum extraction tool can damage the soft tissues of the scalp or cut the skin.

Prolonged labor

Any birth that takes too long exposes an infant to a risk of injury. Difficulty removing the infant can result in a broken collarbone or torn nerves. Maternal obesity or babies presenting breech can lengthen the birth and mechanical intervention may become necessary.