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    Birth Injury 

    What is a birth injury?

    Occasionally during the birth process, the baby may suffer a physical injury that is simply the result of being born. This is sometimes called birth trauma or birth injury.

    What causes birth injury?

    Birth injuries are more common when:

    • The baby is large

    • The baby is not head-first in the birth canal

    • The baby is born prematurely or too early

    • The size or shape of the mother's pelvis or birth canal makes it difficult for a normal vaginal birth

    • Labor is difficult or very long. An example of this is when contractions aren't strong enough to move the baby through the birth canal.

    • The mother is very overweight

    • There is a cesarean delivery

    • Devices, like vacuum or forceps, are used to deliver the baby

    What are some of the more common birth injuries?

    The following are common birth injuries:

    • Swelling or bruising of the head

    • Bleeding underneath one of the cranial bones.

    • Breakage of small blood vessels in the eyes of a baby

    • Facial nerve injury caused by pressure on the baby's face

    • Injury to the group of nerves that supplies the arms and hands 

    • Fracture of the clavicle or collarbone

    Online Medical Reviewer: Donna Freeborn PhD CNM FNP
    Online Medical Reviewer: Heather Trevino
    Online Medical Reviewer: Liora C Adler MD
    Date Last Reviewed: 3/1/2019
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