Although it’s never been safer to go through labor, that doesn’t mean parents don’t worry about what could happen during the process, especially to their child. While it’s extremely unlikely anything serious will happen to the mother or the baby, it’s still wise to be aware of what’s possible. It could help you detect a problem with your infant early on and give you the understanding to go seek out the help of an attorney to sue for medical malpractice.
Brain Damage to the Infant During Labor
One very scary type of problem can be brain damage caused by a lack of oxygen to the baby during labor. Obviously, a lack of oxygen is never a good thing, but because of where they’re at with their development, a baby could suffer some problems if they don’t have sufficient air during this key moment.
Let’s next take a look at the four main reasons this can happen to your child during birth.
Problems with the Umbilical Cord
Though it’s meant to help keep the child alive while in the womb, the umbilical cord can also become a source of serious problems during birth. It might get knotted, prolapsed or twisted, all of which will leave the child without the oxygen they need during such critical moments.
On the other hand, sometimes it’s the physician who causes the problem with the umbilical cord. They may jump the gun and cut it too soon, leaving the infant without oxygen before they can breathe properly.
Then there’s the issue of the umbilical cord wrapping around the child’s neck, cutting off the baby’s oxygen supply. If this happens, the doctor only has a few minutes to get the baby free.
Problems with the Birth Canal
There are many reasons the baby may not be able to clear the birth canal without issue. If the baby gets stuck, it has to be freed right away, or lack of oxygen becomes a problem. Making matters worse is that getting stuck in the birth canal puts the child at risk for many problems like Erb’s palsy and other injuries to their limbs. This can mean freeing the baby to avoid brain damage, but causing serious problems in other places.
Airways Getting Blocked
No one does well with their airway blocked. A baby is going to be at a much greater risk when this happens, though. During birth, a baby may get mucous in their throat, keeping air from passing through. Just like with an umbilical cord around the infant’s neck, the physician must act as quickly as possible to remedy the situation immediately.
During labor, if the placenta and uterus separate from one another too quickly, the infant may be deprived of all the oxygen they need. Lacking the proper amount means they could suffer from brain damage.
Symptoms to Look For
Some symptoms would be immediately clear if your child suffered brain damage during birth, especially because you’ll most likely be paying close attention if the labor had complications.
Look for abnormalities in the size of the child’s forehead or the shape of their spine. If the child is displaying that their neck is stiff, has trouble focusing their eyes, has distorted facial features or has a smaller head, these are signs you’ll want to pay attention to. Seizures would be a major warning sign too.
It’s worth exploring the possibility of medical malpractice if your child suffered brain damage during birth. Speak to a pediatrician or get a second opinion from another obstetrician. Talk to a qualified malpractice attorney as well.
Fortunately, the above will most likely not be an issue. However, if it is, you must get representation right away.