Whether it’s your first time becoming a parent or your second, third or fourth child, the journey never ceases to have the greatest importance in your life. From the moment you find out you’re pregnant, every step is geared towards providing the best life for your child and caring for them every step of the way. However, at times despite our best efforts, we can fail to protect our child from harm. Although rare, birth injuries are a real, unfortunate reality that some parents need to deal with – regrettably. 

Woman Giving Birth to Baby Via C-section

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Some birth injuries can occur prenatally, owing to environmental and genetic factors. Others can occur during birth and can be either preventable or non-preventable. As a parent, the prospect of a birth injury can be devastating. However, immediately spotting the signs can help you care for your child and prevent the damage from exacerbating. If you’re interested in learning how to spot the signs of a birth injury, keep reading below. 

Physical appearance – immediately after birth 

Although weight, skin color, and other factors can vary across children, several physical determinants can suggest that your child is a victim of a birth injury. Healthy babies, upon birth, are usually a little red, but their skin has a healthy color. Moreover, they display even muscle tone and start crying shortly after birth. 

However, there are several ways your baby’s physical appearance can indicate whether they have sustained any birth injuries. A floppy appearance with little energy can be one sign. Likewise, babies with marks, bruises, or other injuries may need prompt attention. A birth injury can also lead to the baby having a limp arm. 

Although there are various reasons birth injuries can occur, negligence is a big factor. Birth injuries can cause immense emotional and financial damage for years to come. Without a birth injury lawsuit, families fail to get the closure and support they need to move forward. The compensation you get from a birth injury lawsuit can help you give your child the medical care they need to live a full life. 

Poor coordination 

In some cases, the signs of birth injury may not be immediately obvious. Instead, you may start noticing them a few months after birth, as the baby begins to develop further. One of the most notable signs of birth injury can be poor coordination. Babies at the age of 1-2 years don’t speak, so it can be challenging to determine speech-related issues. However, if the baby shows delays in reaching milestones such as crawling and walking, they may have sustained birth injuries. 

Apart from delays in walking and crawling, other coordination-related delays may also hint towards a birth injury. If your child has difficulty grabbing things, such as cups, toys, or other items, they may have sustained a birth injury. Additionally, muscle spasms or looseness, lack of bodily movements, and inability to move things from one hand to another may hint towards a birth injury. Such babies may also have trouble reacting to noises and display strange, jerky movements. 

Developmental delays 

Developmental delays can be common in infants who have sustained a birth injury. Much like delays in coordination, these don’t become immediately evident. As your child progresses beyond the age of two, you may start noticing some delays that warrant further assessment. One of the most common signs is related to speech. If your child doesn’t produce any sounds, words or phrases by age 2, they have sustained birth injuries. Additionally, there may be an issue if your child sounds nasally or raspy when speaking and can only communicate basic needs. 

Other developmental delays can include issues with their five senses. If your child has vision, hearing, and sensation problems, it may signify birth injuries. Congenital blindness is a sensory impairment that can become obvious soon after birth. Alongside being caused by prenatal issues, such as infections, it can also stem from birth injuries, such as when optic nerves are harmed. Similarly, if your child has impaired hearing or issues understanding simple tasks, they may have developmental delays. 

Autism and epilepsy 

Birth injuries can often be associated with mental health issues such as autism and epilepsy. Oxygen deprivation during or before birth, in particular, has been linked to a 90% increase in the risk for autism. Autism can be challenging to tackle. Early signs can include flattened emotional expression, not responding to their name, repeating the same phrases or activities, and being hyper or hypo-reactive to stimuli. Children with autism may react badly to schedule changes, not bond with parents or caregivers, and exhibit muteness. 

Epilepsy is yet another condition stemming from birth injures such as hypoxia, brain damage or infection at the time of delivery. In babies, epilepsy can manifest as shakiness, jerky movements, stiffening, loss of consciousness, and breathing problems. Epilepsy can manifest soon after birth or a few months later, depending on the intensity. 

Conclusion 

Birth injuries can be incredibly challenging for new parents to accept. But it’s important to keep an eye out for the signs. When spotted early, treatment can make it possible to mitigate the after-effects and can make it possible for your child to thrive. As a result, you can ensure your child leads the best possible life with proper care and attention.