Birth Injuries in Newborns
During the birth process , the baby may occasionally occur some physical injury that is simply as the result of being born. This is known as birth trauma or birth injury.
What causes birth injury ?
Birth injury can occur due to the baby’s size or position during labor and delivery. Condition associated with difficult births include the following :
- Large babies such as babies over about (8 pounds, 13 ounces)
- Prematurity which is babies born before 37 weeks
- Cephalopelvic disproportion is when the size and shape of the mother’s pelvis is not adequate enough for a baby to be born vaginally.
- Prolonged labor
- Dystocia which is difficult labor or childbirth
- Abnormal birthing presentation such as breech position
What are some of the common birth injuries ?
Some of the common birth injuries include :
- Caput succedaneum which is a significant swelling of the soft tissues of the baby’s scalp that develops as the baby travels through the birth canal.
- Cephalohematoma is an area of bleeding underneath one of the cranial bones. It often appears several hours after birth as a raised lump on the baby’s head.
- Bruising or forceps marks : Signs of bruising on the face and head may show on some babies simply as a result of the trauma of passing though the birth canal and contact with the mother’s pelvic bones and tissues. Forceps used with delivery can leave temporary marks or bruises on the baby’s face and head. Babies delivered by vacuum extraction may have some scalp bruising or a scalp laceration (cut).
- Subconjunctival hemorrhage is the breakage of small blood vessels in the eyes of a baby. One or both of the eyes may have a bright red band in the white part of the eye.
- Facial paralysis when pressure on the baby’s face causes facial nerves to be injured during the labor process or birth.This may also occur with the use of forceps for delivery.
- Brachial palsy occurs when the brachial plexus (the group of nerves that supplies the arms and hands) is injured. It is most common when there is difficulty delivering the baby’s shoulder, called shoulder dystocia.
- Fracture of the clavicle or collarbone is the most common fracture during labor and delivery. The clavicle may break when there is difficulty delivering the baby’s shoulder or during a breech delivery.
Birth injuries in newborns. Merck Manual. https://www.merckmanuals.com/home/children-s-health-issues/general-problems-in-newborns/birth-injuries-in-newborns. Accessed November 12th, 2018
Birth injury type. Birth Injury Guide . https://www.birthinjuryguide.org/birth-injury/types/. Accessed November 14th, 2018