Expecting parents in New Jersey hope everything will go smoothly during labor and the baby will be born without harm. However, there are certain circumstances and errors that can lead to birth injuries. Some of these are due to increased risk factors, while others may be avoidable if certain prevention practices occurred.
According the Stanford Children’s Hospital, a birth injury is physical damage that occurs during the birth process. Harm can happen at any time, but there are certain factors that increase the risk. These include:
- Premature birth
- Larger than normal baby or overweight mother
- Shape or size of mom’s pelvis poses a challenge for vaginal delivery
- Position of baby is not headfirst
- Long and difficult labor
- Delivery by cesarean or with devices such as forceps or vacuum
These risk factors can lead to common injuries such as head swelling, fractures, nerve injury and cranial bleeding. Babies heal relatively quickly, and most of these injuries fully heal within days, weeks or months.
Many injuries related to birth trauma are not anyone’s fault. However, medical mistakes do occur. WebMD discusses what steps medical teams and patients can take to prevent unnecessary harm to the baby or mother during the birth process.
Communication is extremely important throughout all steps of the process. If the mom is allergic to any medication or material, such as latex, she needs to let her OB/GYN know. Another mistake some patients make is to think healthcare providers know everything. It is important to bring up any concerns or to question a certain procedure if it does not seem right.
The birthing team should be aware of any and all risk factors prior to the birth. This can ready them in the event something goes wrong and they can take the appropriate steps right away. If the mother needs drugs during labor, nurses or the anesthesiologist should take care to use the right one and administer the proper dose. Mistakes are also avoidable when the doctor and team are free from distractions and are not in a hurry.