Birth injuries can occur for a variety of reasons. Many of these injuries can lead to serious health issues for a baby, and sometimes throughout their adult life. This especially true for injuries that create brain damage. Asphyxiation, fever, umbilical cord incidents, misuse of forceps are only a few examples. Although there are accidents that medical personnel could not foresee, it is not uncommon for negligence to be the cause of birth injuries. If this is the case, you may be entitled to compensation for your baby, but first, you need to identify a possible birth injury. The following are a few signs to look for.
Crying due to pain
This is tricky to notice because all babies cry, especially when they are hungry, need a new diaper or are feeling too hot or cold. But if your baby is crying for no apparent reason and this is accompanied by an arching of the back, this could mean the baby is in pain. It could be a bone fracture, for example, but it did not manifest itself until after your brought your baby home. You will get to know the various cries of your baby, so you may begin to notice a problem simply from the crying, but pay attention to an arching back.
Babies will vary in the amount they eat from one feeding to the next, and sometimes they even fall asleep while they're eating. What you need to pay attention to when your baby is feeding and he or she is having difficulty eating. Does your baby have difficulty sucking or swallowing? If there is a persistent problem, you need to speak to your pediatrician immediately.
A lack of response
This is difficult to determine for the first few days, but babies grow quickly. After a couple of weeks, their reflexes begin to develop, and they will respond to your touch. If there was any nerve damage due to a birth injury, it often is seen by a lack of response to touching. It can take several weeks to begin noticing this problem. You will likely be visiting your pediatrician a few weeks after your baby is born. At this point, you may not notice anything, but your doctor may not either. If you suspect a lack of response to touch, you can discuss this with your doctor. He or she can give you more information on what to look for in the coming weeks.
If your baby shows signs like the ones above or any other symptom that leads you to believe your baby has been injured at birth, then take your child to your pediatrician immediately. The doctor can confirm an injury, but will not assign blame. You need to consult a birth injury attorney to help you determine if negligence may have been responsible for the injury.