Birth Injury Risks Factors You Need to Know

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( — May 30, 2022) — Birth injury refers to any form of harm a newborn suffers during labor or delivery. While some injuries are due to medical negligence or error, that is not always the case.

There are various types of birth injuries which include but are not limited to anesthetic inhalation, anesthesia overdose, fetal distress, obstructed labor, neonatal intensive care unit admission, perinatal death, and stillbirth.

These injuries can have severe and long-lasting consequences for the newborn and the parents. Some of the main risk factors for birth injury include the baby’s size and position, the mother’s medical conditions, preeclampsia, and infections.

The Baby’s Size and Position

The baby’s size and position inside the uterus can impact the delivery. Ideally, the baby is positioned with its head down for labor. If the baby is in a different position, sometimes they can be adjusted. However, if that is not possible, it adds risk to the delivery.

The main positions of a baby inside the uterus include:

  • High-transverse lie: The baby’s back is lying facing the mother’s birth canal.
  • Breech position: The baby’s feet are first in the mother’s uterus.

Medical Conditions

All women have their own unique medical history. As a result, most carry a certain risk of birth complications. Some medical conditions that may lead to birth injuries include:

  • Infections
  • Thyroid disease
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Epilepsy
  • Gestational diabetes

Another crucial factor to consider when evaluating the risk of complications during pregnancy or birth is the medications taken by the mother. Pregnant women should not take any pills without the knowledge and accord of their physician, as some might have a negative effect on the pregnancy.

Family medical history is also essential to consider during pregnancy. Your doctor should conduct a thorough interview regarding any history of illness or disease in the parents’ families.


Preeclampsia, a sudden rise in blood pressure during pregnancy, can be a dangerous complication for pregnant women. There is evidence that preeclampsia may be a risk factor for birth injury.

In some cases, the baby may be at risk for intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR). This is when the baby does not grow at the standard rate inside the uterus. The condition can cause injury to the baby and affect their long-term health.

Maternal Infections

Infections may be responsible for some birth injuries. There are different types of infections to consider, including viral, bacterial, or parasitic.

The placenta forms a barrier between the mother and the baby during pregnancy, as the baby is growing organically with the mother’s immune system. However, certain infections can get past this barrier, causing harm to the baby.

Birth Trauma

Birth injuries can also occur due to force and trauma of childbirth. For example, a woman may experience episiotomies during labor for various reasons. A serious birth injury can occur when too much tissue is removed from the uterus.

Removing too much tissue from the uterus may result in an emergency obstetric intervention such as operative vaginal delivery. Other types of birth trauma can happen due to force applied to the baby inside the mother’s uterus during labor and delivery.

If the child’s injury occurred due to a doctor’s or nurse’s negligence, you should talk to your provider first. If you don’t get a satisfactory result, a professional birth injury lawyer from Baltimore can help you. They will provide you with an expert opinion and legal assistance.

Medical Mismanagement

Miscarriage is a severe condition where a baby dies before or during birth. In cases with severe blood loss, the mother may not have received the proper amount of blood transfusions to replenish her blood supply. Thus, they may experience low iron levels and the baby becomes deprived of enough blood to sustain their own life.

Seek Legal Assistance

Birth injuries can have serious consequences for an entire family. If a child has suffered from a birth injury due to medical error or negligence, an attorney can help you seek justice. By filing against the at-fault party, you may receive compensation that can help build a better life for your child and family.


About the author:

Crystal A. Davis

How does one combine a passion for journalism with a strong sense of justice? For Crystal, the choice was simple: legal journalism. Born and raised in a family of attorneys but wanting to approach the law from an investigative angle, Crystal decided that people would not hear her voice in the court, but online, in magazines, journals, and other platforms. When she is not studying active lawsuits closely to report on them, she writes public-friendly articles detangling the complicated threads representing the American legal system.