Five Causes of Birth Injuries

Birth Injuries

Soon-to-be parents will know that there are few moments as exciting as when you finally hold your child in your arms. From the moment you conceive, it can feel like your whole world has turned upside down – and in the best possible way. And while parenthood can be an enriching journey, your little bundle of joy can make it worthwhile despite the ups and downs.

Expecting parents will want to do all they can to prevent harm to their children when they’re born. However, many parents don’t realize there are several ways their child can face damage even before they come into this world. Birth can be incredibly precarious; without proper precautions, it can result in mishaps like birth injuries.

So understanding the causes of these birth injuries can help you know how you can look out for your child in the best possible way. Keep reading below to learn more.

Interference in oxygen supply

Babies are incredibly vulnerable while still in the womb, and changes in the highly-regulated womb environment can be severely detrimental to their health. Although the womb maintains an optimal environment for the fetus in most cases, there are some instances during or before birth where things can change. Oxygen deprivation is one of the most significant changes that can damage the fetus.

Oxygen deprivation for the fetus doesn’t have to mean that the supply is interrupted for a long time. Short periods can also damage and lead to long-term issues. Oxygen deprivation primarily affects the brain and can be caused by various reasons. Although it can be non-preventable in some cases, in many cases, timely medical aid helps.

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If your child has suffered a birth injury due to an interrupted oxygen supply due to medical negligence, head to Birth Injury Justice Center to figure out your next steps.

Birth trauma

Birth can be an incredibly complicated procedure, not just for the mother but for the baby as well. In many cases, it can be significantly prolonged and lead to birth injuries. There are several situations in which the birthing process can be dangerous for mother and child. The most common issue is a breech birth, where the baby’s bottom faces the pelvis instead of the head. Usually, the safest way to deal with a breech birth is through a cesarean, which is the surgical removal of the baby.

Additionally, if there are other complications during birth, the doctors may have to use additional pressure to get the baby out. It can include using forceps or other methods which can cause lasting trauma. Pulled nerves, broken bones, and skull injuries can happen if the birth is traumatic and the doctor has not dealt with it properly. In some cases, the damage can heal eventually, and your baby may be able to lead a normal life. However, in other cases, they may face lifelong damage.

Maternal obesity

Maternal health is one of the most significant determinants of how safe the pregnancy will be for the baby and the mother. If the mother has a higher weight, she may put her child at an increased risk for birth injuries. In medical terms, obesity is having a BMI of 30 or above and is very different from putting on weight during pregnancy. If you can be classified as medically obese, your child may be at a higher risk of contracting gestational diabetes.

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Moreover, the baby can also be larger than expected, leading to additional issues and trauma during birth. Maternal obesity also increases the risk of the umbilical cord collapsing and interfering with the oxygen supply, leading to perinatal asphyxia. Women classified as obese also have a higher incidence of stillbirths, and their children can be born with cardiac and respiratory defects. Maternal obesity can be hard to control when you’re already pregnant. Thus, women are advised to keep their weight as normal as possible before getting pregnant to ensure that there is no unnecessary risk for the child.

Drug use

Drug usage during pregnancy can be one of the biggest causes of birth injuries and can profoundly affect the child for the rest of their lives. However, although the detrimental effect of recreational drugs on fetuses is well-documented, the latest research shows that prescription drugs can be damaging too. Although safe for general use, several prescription drugs severely impact your child’s development.

These drugs can be absorbed into the bloodstream and enter the womb through the placenta. Many of these drugs can be readily absorbed and considerably affect the fetus. SSRIs and other medicines used to treat mood disorders can significantly impact child development. Additionally, acne medication such as Accutane can cause congenital disabilities because of its intense concentration. Certain antibiotics and topical creams can affect the child and cause birth injuries. Thus, pregnant mothers must always check with their doctor before using any medication.

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Larger size

Sometimes, the baby can be too large to have a comfortable birth. If the baby’s weight exceeds 9 pounds, it can be macrosomic, and trying to deliver normally can be extremely dangerous. A larger baby won’t just cause longer and more painful labor but can also increase the chances of maternal and fetal death. Maternal obesity and diabetes, or rapid weight gain during pregnancy, can be some causes of macrosomic fetuses.

Macrosomic babies are at a much higher risk of being trapped in the birth canal and suffering through a more prolonged birth. They can also encounter complications such as getting stuck, requiring additional force, having broken bones, nerve damage, and conditions such as Erb’s Palsy. Doctors can generally detect a higher baby weight and take preemptive measures to ensure that your baby has a smooth birth, regardless of size.


Preparing for birth can be daunting, especially knowing everything that can go wrong. However, this information can also help you figure out how to protect your baby better. With this guide, you can know what to avoid and what to ask your doctor so you can prepare for and prevent any harmful situations from occurring.