Signs That Your Newborn May Have a Birth Injury

Signs That Your Newborn May Have a Birth Injury

Every parent wants their child to be born happy and healthy. To find out that your newborn has suffered from a birth injury can come as a shock. And to make matters worse, it could have been the doctor or medical staff that failed to provide adequate care which led to the birth injury occurring. Most birth injuries entail serious complications that can turn into disfigurement and disabilities for life. Some birth injury symptoms will be noticeable within the first couple minutes after delivery, while others may take months or years to become obvious.

Regardless of when the symptoms arise, it’s important that parents get their child medical attention from a provider that was not the doctor who did the delivery and then consult with a birth injury lawyer about whether they have a case for a birth injury lawsuit.

Is there a complete list of birth injury symptoms I can refer to?

As parents with a newborn, it can be difficult to figure out whether what you are seeing is concerning. It can be hard to figure out whether your baby has a birth injury or some other condition. If you suspect that something is wrong with your baby and he or she isn’t exhibiting signs on this list, you must still take swift action to get them a medical examination from a doctor.

It is essential that you take your baby to a reputable doctor who has experience with birth injury cases. If you take your baby to the same doctor who assisted you during delivery, he or she may know that a birth injury occurred, but may try to cover it up or lie in order to avoid responsibility. Another doctor who is removed from the situation may be able to offer a more unbiased diagnosis.

In general, symptoms that may mean your baby sustained a birth injury include: 

  • Breathlessness
  • Trouble swallowing, eating, or suckling
  • Drooling excessively
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Crying with an arched back
  • Fussiness for no apparent reason
  • Lethargy
  • Hand curling into a claw-like shape
  • Muscle spasms
  • Writhing movements
  • Favoring one side of the body
  • Arm/hand bent towards the body
  • Inflamed nasal passages
  • Constipation
  • Persistent coughing
  • Fever
  • Changes in vision
  • Wheezing
  • Pale/waxy appearance to the skin

What if my baby hasn’t reached developmental milestones?

Not all symptoms are apparent immediately following being born. A birth injury can occur during pregnancy, labor, or in the few minutes after delivery. An injury could have been sustained that won’t show symptoms until much later in life, such as when your child enters preschool or kindergarten. This is when both parents and the teacher may start to observe differences between a child and the other students. Birth injury symptoms that can develop during toddler years include:

  • Trouble walking normally
  • Delays in motor skills
  • Lack of muscle control
  • Speech problems
  • Intellectual disabilities
  • Inability to perform certain tasks independently
  • Challenges with problem solving 
  • Explosive tantrums
  • Inability to connect actions with consequences