When you go into labor, you expect everything to go according to plans. However, that's not always the case. Sometimes babies have a mind of their own, and plans have to change. Other times, doctors make mistakes, and the situation turns drastic. When that happens, birth injuries can occur. Unfortunately, not all birth injuries are readily apparent at birth. Sometimes it's the parents who observe something wrong and decide that it's time to dig a little deeper. If you suspect that your child has suffered a birth injury, it's important to take a step back, and look at every aspect of the delivery from the very first moment you entered the hospital. Here are some signs that might point to the occurrence of a birth injury:
Extended Labor and Delivery Time
It's not uncommon for labor and delivery to take more than just a few hours. In fact, some labors can go on for over 18 hours, especially with first babies. However, if your labor went well past the 24-hour mark, and was plagued with adjustments to the monitors, concerning glances between the doctors and nurses, or resulted in an emergency c-section, there's a possibility that your child endured a birth injury. This is particularly true if your baby experienced heart deceleration's during labor, or the doctor's eventually determined that your baby was in distress.
Visible Injuries at Birth
Traumatic births can result in birth injuries. Some of those injuries will be obvious at the time of birth. If your baby had visible cuts, bruises, or abrasions on any part of their body after delivery, those marks could be part of a bigger birth injury. Make a note of the visible birth injuries you noticed at birth, and keep track of how long those injuries took to heal. If those injuries are still healing, you should have your pediatrician take a closer look at them. You'll want to make sure that more serious injuries are ruled out.
Delayed or Limited Use of Limbs
When your baby is born, it should be able to move its arms and legs. In fact, movement should be apparent as soon as your baby is born. Birth injuries that involve the neck, spine, brain, or limbs, can interfere with a baby's ability to move their arms and legs. If your baby has had difficulty moving its arms and legs, or movement was delayed, there may be birth injuries that you're not aware of.
Doctors and Nurses Avoidance of Questions
Doctors and nurses should be willing to discuss your baby, as well as your labor and delivery. If you've found that the medical staff is avoiding your questions, or offering brief answers that don't fully address the issues, they may be hiding information about possible birth injuries. If that's the case, it's time to sit down with an attorney.
If you suspect that your baby was injured during birth, don't take chances. You need to schedule an appointment with a birth injury lawyer near you.