Birth injuries can cause serious and lifelong damage to both West Virginia infants and their mothers. In some cases, they can even be fatal. While many of them are unavoidable, there are certain risk factors that increase the chances of one occurring.
In general, labor is considered prolonged if it lasts more than 18 hours. When this happens, the baby can become stuck in the birth canal, putting pressure on their delicate nerves and muscles. If a prolonged labor goes untreated, it can lead to an oxygen deprivation-related injury or brachial plexus palsy (nerve damage causing paralysis of one arm).
Difficult or forceful delivery
Using forceps, vacuum extractors and other medical instruments during delivery can increase the risk of birth injuries. These tools are used to help guide and support the baby through the birth canal but can cause damage to their delicate head and neck regions if not used properly.
Maternal health issues
Conditions such as preeclampsia, diabetes, and other chronic health issues can increase the risk of birth injuries. These conditions can cause stress on both the mother and baby, leading to oxygen deprivation or other traumatic injuries.
Improper use of medication
Using certain medications during labor can have serious side effects on the mother and baby. Certain drugs that relax the uterus can cause the baby to become stuck in the birth canal, resulting in oxygen deprivation or other health complications. Additionally, using epidurals and other pain medications can lead to a decrease in blood pressure, thereby reducing the oxygen supply to the baby.
It is important to be aware of these risk factors in order to ensure a safe and healthy delivery for both mother and child. If you have any concerns about your pregnancy it is wise to speak with your doctor as soon as possible. Proper medical attention can help reduce the chances of harm and ensure a safe delivery.