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What are some long-term effects of birth injuries?

Most Oregon parents eagerly await the birth of their child with hopeful feelings toward the future. While childbirth can be unpredictable, most babies are born without serious issues. But when a birth goes wrong and the baby or mother has an injury, the entire family can face life-changing circumstances. If you’ve suffered from a birth-related injury, or your baby received an injury during or after birth, you may worry about how this will affect your child’s future. Financial concerns, lifelong health issues and the impact on your family’s quality of life are all realistic and legitimate concerns.

Birth injuries may be mild or severe

Many birth injuries are mild and one can easily resolve them with afterbirth care. Other injuries may require more treatment to help the child or mother recover. Mothers may experience perineal trauma during birth, which can require stitches or other treatment. Nerve and muscle damage can also occur when a woman is giving birth. This damage can range from mild to debilitating.

Babies may suffer from bruising and swelling on the face or head, especially after the use of birth-assisting tools. Swelling usually resolves within two days, but if it doesn’t go away on its own, surgery may be necessary. More serious birth injuries to babies include fractures and nerve damage. Some of the most concerning injuries of the brain or spinal cord can lead to developmental delays and cognitive impairments.

The aftermath of a birth injury

Immediately after a birth injury, you may face separation from your newborn for a lengthy period. This can affect your ability to bond with your baby and may impact breastfeeding and milk supply. Mothers can feel post-traumatic stress after a particularly difficult birth where they had an injury or witnessed their newborn suffering an injury. This may require the mother to attend therapy or counseling to work through those issues.

The short-term effects associated with birth injuries can often turn into lifelong issues when a birth injury is significant. Children can end up with mild to severe physical and mental disabilities after a birth injury. A disability may require the family to upgrade their home to accommodate the child’s needs, enroll the child in physical therapy or make other accommodations to help the child thrive.

What to do after a birth injury

Birth injuries may require significant care to the child, mother or both. This care often comes with overwhelming medical bills and other expenses that can be financially burdensome to an Oregon family. When a birth injury is the result of negligence on the part of a medical professional, the family should be aware that they have the right to seek compensation through a medical malpractice lawsuit.