Parents’ Guide to Best Cope with a Birth Injury

Birth injuries can quickly take what should be a happy and exciting time for a family and turn it into an emotionally fraught nightmare. Birth injuries can occur for a variety of reasons and while some pregnancies are considered higher risk than others, sometimes birth injuries seem to happen at random. The resulting injuries can range from mild to severe and it’s normal for families to be at a loss for how to cope.

Birth injuries that were avoidable can be particularly devastating since knowing that the injury could have been prevented often causes even more grief and anger. Whether your baby suffered from shoulder dystocia, paralysis of the face, cerebral palsy or a brain injury, the following will help you cope and make informed decisions that are best for your situation.

Looking Out for Injuries

Some birth injuries are evident right away, which makes it easier to begin any possible treatment from the start. More obvious injuries include abrasions and bruising, paralysis, muscle tonicity issues and breathing problems.

Birth injuries that may not manifest until later include brain injuries. This is because the signs often don’t show up until later when you should be expecting developmental and behavioral changes in your baby and they don’t occur on schedule. If you experienced a difficult delivery, keep an eye out for future symptoms such as

  • Difficulty focusing
  • Consistent crying
  • Hard time eating
  • Random and uncontrolled body movements
  • Developmental delays
  • Trouble lying down
  • Seizures

If brain injury is suspected it is important to speak with your healthcare provider as soon as possible. While brain abnormalities may not show up on diagnostic imaging right after birth, they may appear on a CT scan or MRI later on. If treatment and therapy are started early, long-term effects may be controlled.

Take Control of Life Adjustments

Having a child that is suffering from birth injuries can make you feel helpless. However, once you have accepted what has happened, you can start taking steps to best deal with the situation. Mild injuries may not require many adjustments in your life, but more severe ones will. Making proactive changes and taking charge of your child’s medical needs will help you feel in better control. This may include specific medical treatments or at-home therapies.

Speak With a Counselor

You may be focusing all your time and energy on your baby and his or her injuries, but it is very important that you talk to someone about what you are going through. It can be a very stressful time for the entire family and speaking with a counselor or other professional can help you work through your feelings and cope with everything. It’s easy for parents to get so wrapped up in the health of their baby that they begin to neglect themselves; however, your mental health is important and taking care of yourself will allow you to in turn take better care of your child.

Consider Seeking Compensation and Seek Legal Representation

If your baby’s injuries were caused by the negligence of doctors, hospitals or other the medical staff, you may choose to pursue a medical malpractice claim. If you have questions about how to pursue a medical malpractice case, are wondering if you have enough proof to even begin legal action, or even if your child suffered an injury at a daycare or camp, McGehee ☆ Chang, Landgraf, Feiler can help. Contact us for a free consultation to discuss your case: 713-864-4000.