There is something intrinsically unique and powerful about bringing another human being into the world. Giving birth is an immensely transformative and beautiful experience. It sometimes brings one of two images to mind: a woman suffering in severe pain or a freshly swaddled newborn entering the world.
Unfortunately, in some cases, at the time of delivery, minor or major injuries may occur, but they can have a severe effect on a child’s development. While children can make progress, they cannot outgrow developmental disabilities. While a few birth injuries may resolve on their own, others are lifelong. Even with the advancements in modern medicine, childbirth is still a difficult time for both the child and mother. Sometimes, even the slightest complication can lead to an injury. Most of the time, effective and prompt medical care can make the situation better.
If your child has been affected by a birth injury, it can make you feel helpless and scared. Thankfully, we can help you identify the effects of birth injuries that may help you find a treatment to improve your child’s quality of life.
Here’s everything you need to know.
The Long-term Effects of a Birth Injury
First and foremost, families of children with conditions caused by congenital disabilities may have to adjust their lifestyles accordingly to take care of their children’s needs. Siblings, as well, must learn to adapt to living with a sister or brother who receives undivided attention and is considered “different” by others.
Parents are most vulnerable during this time, and there’s a chance they may use the wrong approach to confront the doctor. But if you have strong evidence that the birth injury is caused by medical malpractice, contact an attorney right away. You can even learn more about this by searching online and discover a reasonable approach to fight back. After all, doctors hardly ever like to admit that it’s their fault. Doctors often blame other professionals or try to force the parents into believing that a birth injury occurred due to a natural cause. Therefore, it was unavoidable.
Filing a lawsuit against medical malpractice can help you realize what went wrong. Without it, you may never get a chance to find out the truth. So make sure to file a lawsuit. It is the only way to ensure that your child gets all the care that he/she deserves in the future.
Furthermore, a child’s needs will change as he/she grows into an adult or adolescent. Depending on her or his physical and intellectual capabilities, he or she may require:
- Special independent living accommodations
- Counseling to cope with psychological or emotional conditions
Lastly, parents must also consider how the treatment of their disabled child will be carried out if anything unexpected happens to them. In some cases, birth injuries heal on their own without invasive treatments. Other times, severe injuries may require medical involvement, such as surgery. In any case, the best thing that a parent can do is plan to accept that lifelong care will likely be a necessity.
Below are the two most common birth injuries and their effects on the developmental abilities of a child.
Fractures and Muscle Injuries
Fractures and muscle injuries are sometimes related to how an infant is positioned during delivery. Sometimes these defects may arise due to medical malpractice and inefficient use of vacuums, forceps, and surgical instruments. The ever-lasting effects of fractures and muscle injuries on the “cognitive” side of a child include:
- Inability to use the affected limb
- Failing to meet age-linked milestones such as feeding, rolling over, and sitting up straight without assistance
As you can tell from the name, catastrophic injuries refer to the most severe injuries that may occur during birth. A catastrophic injury is one to the spinal cord or the brain that fully responds to medical treatment. A prevalent cause of devastating brain trauma is lack of oxygen during birth due to complex and lengthy delivery or spinal cord issues. Besides that, the misuse of forceps during labor and delivery can cause a fracture to the infant’s skull.
Moreover, the effects of a significant catastrophic injury include:
- Failure to fulfill developmental goals
- Full or partial paralysis
- Inability to speak, feed or walk without assistance
- Need for 24/7 care, preferably in a residential environment
In some cases, partial recovery from catastrophic harm is possible. However, as the child grows, he/she may require assistance with transportation and schooling and modifications to the house. Children who cannot walk without aid due to their injuries may need a walker or a wheelchair.
Is There a Way to Prevent Birth Injuries?
Sometimes it’s often impossible to prevent birth injuries because they are a natural act. However, there are some things you can do during pregnancy to minimize your risks:
- Do regular exercises (choose pregnancy-safe exercises)
- Avoid straining on the toilet or getting constipated, as this can dwindle your pelvic muscles.
- Build up your pelvic muscles with regular pelvic floor exercises.
Birth injuries are more complicated than you think. If you don’t learn to deal with the problem, you may never stop struggling. The most crucial step is to investigate the practice: whether your doctor made a mistake or it was an unavoidable scenario. By exploring the cause, parents are more likely to achieve peace of mind and focus on making their child’s life better. So, do what’s best for your child!