Brain damage at birth: how common is it?

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For most of us, giving birth is one of the most rewarding experiences you can go through. Although normally everything goes smoothly for the 624,828 mothers giving birth each year, there are times when things don’t go to plan. If your birth is difficult, you might find that your baby is brain-damaged.

Here’s all you need to know about the topic.

What can cause brain damage during birth?

Unfortunately, brain injuries are relatively common, with 1.4 million people suffering from head injuries each year.

Brain damage at birth occurs when brain cells are harmed or destroyed. Brain damage can happen before, after or during the birthing process.

There are many different types and causes of infant brain damage. However, all types of brain damage need to be treated early for a child to recover fully.

 What are the signs of brain damage in newborns?

Infant brain injuries are rarely confirmed right away, purely due to the fact that they are not always immediately obvious. However, there are some symptoms to look out for, including:

  • Abnormally large forehead
  • Abnormally shaped spine
  • Abnormally small head
  • Arched back while crying
  • Difficulty eating or swallowing
  • Excessive drooling
  • High-pitched crying
  • Loose muscles
  • Neck stiffness
  • Seizures and/or tremors
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Stiff muscles
  • Unusual eye movements
  • Visible scalp injuries

What are the effects of brain damage?

If your child has suffered from brain damage at birth, you might find that they exhibit tremors or muscle spasms. Your child might also show signs of extreme fatigue.

But normally, the most obvious effect of brain damage on your child is that your baby might display delayed physical development. For example, your child might not be able to crawl, sit, stand or walk as soon as you might expect.

As children grow older, they might also struggle with physical tasks like writing, putting on shoes or getting dressed.

What to do if you think your child might have had a brain injury?

If you suspect your child has got brain damage resulting from their birth, it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible. Many children can recover from traumatic injuries at birth, so the first port of call is always to seek treatment.

If you feel as though you have been let down by the hospital where you gave birth, you might wish to investigate hiring a brain injury solicitor to help you recover compensation. A good solicitor will be able to advise on whether negligence was involved and if so, whether you have a strong case.

Unfortunately, brain damage at birth is relatively common. However, the good news is that by seeking help early and getting legal advice, you can set your family up for success.