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Which birth injuries occur most often?

If you are pregnant with your first child, you may well have concerns about the labor and delivery process and what you and your baby will go through during it. You may also have niggling worries about the possibility of birth injuries.

You will be glad to know that, per the Birth Injury Guide, 97% of U.S. births occur without any problems or difficulties whatsoever. For the remaining 3% of babies, the birth injury or injuries they receive usually are temporary in nature and resolve themselves with little or no medical intervention.

Most common birth injuries

The most common birth injuries include the following:

  • Bruising or forceps marks on your baby’s forehead or face that generally disappear within a few weeks
  • Fracture of your baby’s clavicle, a/k/a collarbone, that generally heals itself within a few weeks
  • Caput succedaneum; i.e., swelling of the soft tissues in your baby’s scalp that generally goes away within a few days
  • Cephalohamatoma; i.e., internal bleeding between your baby’s skull bone and its fibrous covering that generally goes away within two to three weeks
  • Subconjunctival hemorrhage; i.e., broken blood vessels in your baby’s eyes that usually repair themselves within seven to 10 days
  • Brachial palsy; i.e., damage to the nerves that allow your baby to move his or her arms and hands. If the nerves are merely bruised, your baby should recover full movement of his or her hands and arms within a few months. If the nerves suffered tearage. however, the nerve damage could be permanent.

Your baby could also suffer temporary facial paralysis on one side of his or her face if (s)he sustains too much pressure on the facial nerves during delivery and they become bruised. The bruising and therefore the paralysis should resolve itself within a few weeks. If the nerves became torn, however, (s)he may require surgery.

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Charlotte, NC 28204

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