No parent wants to see their baby in distress. Every prospective parent will go to great lengths to ensure their child is always safe and healthy. However, despite your care, there are certain instances when the situation is out of control and can put your child in harm’s way. A primary example of this type of tragedy includes birth injuries.
There are many reasons why your child gets injured at birth. It can occur because of your troubled pregnancy, difficult labor, or in extreme cases, due to the neglect of the medical staff assigned to handle your delivery. Witnessing your child get hurt, especially when they’re incredibly vulnerable and fragile, is horrifying for any parent. It would help if you find ways to mitigate the risks of this happening and work on keeping your child safe; here are some ways you can do this:
1. Educate Yourself On Birth Injuries and Defects
Knowing what you’re up against is your shield in barricading your child from possible risk factors. You cannot protect your child if you are not informed about birth injuries and how they happen. While the list of birth injuries is quite exhaustive, the most common ones, like cerebral palsy, should be on your radar. According to the data presented by the CDC, one to four per thousand births incur an injury. Birth defects and birth injuries are two distinct concepts that are sometimes confused. A birth injury occurs when the mother is in labor or during delivery. In contrast, a birth defect like cerebral palsy is a sickness or problem that develops while the child is still in the womb. This condition impacts your child’s motor skills and coordination, making it hard for them to do basic activities like sit, stand and eat, causing them to fall frequently.
There are many types of cerebral palsy, and you must pick up on how each expresses itself in your child. Most cases of cerebral palsy do not get detected at birth but usually start making an appearance once your child is about two years old. Early symptoms may include developmental delays, unusual posture, and weak muscle tone. At the same time, other birth injuries include fractures, a damaged nerve, or open wounds.
2. Make Sure You Attend All Necessary Prenatal Visits
Prenatal assessments are a great way to learn where your health stands along with your baby’s. When a doctor can diagnose and detect early signs of distress or an abnormality in fetal development, they guide you accordingly. Not every pregnancy is the smoothest. You may be shouldering conditions like gestational diabetes, silent blood infections, or having a preeclampsia history that can impact your child.
Hence it would help if you never skipped out on the necessary scheduled appointments that can provide you with details on your pregnancy. The checkup may include conducting a blood test, doing multiple ultrasounds, and checking your weight according to fetal growth.
You should also not hold back from sharing your medical history, especially if congenital disabilities are common in your family, let your doctor know. If you have a geriatric pregnancy, you may need to exercise more caution and check in with your doctor frequently. The purpose of these visits also helps your healthcare provider gauge the condition of your uterus and check if there are complications in your pregnancy, such as low oxygen saturation and if the baby’s heart rate is unsteady. So as you get closer to giving birth, you’re in good shape to deliver a healthy and safe baby.
3. Recognize Signs of Distress
During pregnancy, you may experience signs and symptoms that can tell you if your baby is not doing well. While getting morning sickness, experiencing sudden back pain and swelling in your hand and feet are common. However, symptoms like cramps, bleeding, and sharp pain in your uterus are not. These warrant a visit with your doctor; in extreme cases, you may need to check into the ER.
Apart from intense pain and pressure, you can also pick up signs of distress when your baby is not kicking anymore. Around sixteen to twenty weeks, you can feel your baby move in your womb. It is also when a baby first starts kicking. Generally, a developing fetus will move about ten times an hour which is easy to detect. But if you have trouble feeling them move and develop a hollowness in your womb, you need to consult your OB/GYN.
An unresponsive baby needs immediate help, and you may have to deliver the baby right away. Ignoring these warning signs can jeopardize your health and endanger your child. You never know when your baby is deprived of oxygen, is getting insufficient nutrients, or the umbilical cord has accidentally wound itself around your child.
4. Don’t Push For A Vaginal Birth During Complications
You cannot give birth vaginally if you enter active labor, experience a few contractions, are not sufficiently dilated, or feel stabbing pain in your uterus. If you have a narrow birth canal, your doctor may suggest having a c-section. Following their advice, you should never try to force yourself to deliver against your doctor’s recommendations. It can cause your child to get stuck. It can interrupt their blood flow and cause them to asphyxiate in the amniotic fluid.
Hence, you should listen to the healthcare giver and opt for a c-section. If there is a delay in your water breaking and you’re way past your due date, don’t wait for it to happen naturally. You may need to get yourself induced. Prolonged labor can harm the baby as it can lead to a decrease in oxygen levels or cause the amniotic fluid to become infected. Long labor forces the medical staff to use apparatus like forceps and a vacuum pump which can further injure the baby.
For any parent, the last thing they want is their child to get injured during birth. But these tragedies can occur due to various reasons. These include stagnant fetal development, declining health, and negligence of the medical staff. You need to act fast to remedy the situation when a baby goes into distress. The longer you ignore the intense pain you feel, the more you may jeopardize your child’s life.
You can ensure your kid is secure and healthy when born by attending all of your medical appointments, keeping up with your checkups, and learning about birth injuries. Additionally, you should follow your doctor’s advice and avoid greatly extending labor when your baby’s condition is deteriorating and necessitating the use of potentially harmful delivery aids.