As a parent, giving birth to a new life is undoubtedly one of the most momentous occasions of our lives. We have an instinct to protect and nurture our children so they can grow to their fullest potential. While every parent wishes childbirth to be always smooth and easy, the truth is that birth injuries can occur. This is why it’s important to know that birth injuries can happen in various forms and severity levels, from minor bruising to more severe injuries like brain damage, paralysis, and fractures.
Every year, 6-8 infants out of 1000 suffer from some form of birth injury in the United States alone. While some birth injuries are unavoidable, others can be prevented by simple steps.
As a parent, you want to do everything you can to minimize the risk of injury to your child. While you may not be able to control every situation that could lead to an injury, you can take steps to reduce the chances. In this article, we’ll discuss some effective strategies expectant parents can follow to reduce the risk of birth injuries and ensure a safe delivery for their newborn.
Things Every Parent Needs to Know About Birth Injuries
Birth injury refers to any injury that a baby suffers before, during, or immediately after birth. Several common causes of birth injuries include oxygen deprivation or hypoxia, delayed c-section delivery, trauma, and excessive force or physical pressure during the birth process.
Childbirth injuries usually occur due to medical malpractices and medical negligence on behalf of medical professionals. When healthcare professionals fail to follow medical standards of care and cause a birth injury, parents can seek birth injury legal help and file a lawsuit against the healthcare facility or concerned healthcare professionals.
In cases where a child has suffered a serious birth injury, early intervention is critical to reduce the impact of the injury on the child and improve their overall quality of life. This is because the effects of a birth injury can be long-lasting and may even result in permanent disability if not addressed promptly.
Parents should be proactive in seeking out appropriate care and support services, as well as in advocating for their child’s needs. They need to work closely with medical professionals and other experts to ensure that their child receives the best possible care and has the opportunity to live a fulfilling and rewarding life.
How to Prevent Birth Injuries
If you’re expecting a baby, you need to take the necessary steps to ensure safe delivery and reduce the impact of any birth injuries that may occur. Here are some steps you can take to prevent birth injuries and reduce the impact of even unavoidable birth injuries:
Consult Your Doctor Before Becoming Pregnant
If you plan to have a baby, it’s a good idea to consult your doctor beforehand. This is particularly important if you have certain health conditions that can risk your pregnancy and childbirth, such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity, anxiety, or depression. These conditions can lead to various birth complications, so it’s best to be proactive and avoid any potential issues.
Your doctor may suggest a few dietary changes, supplements, and some precautions to increase your chances of having a safe and smooth delivery. By taking the time to talk to your doctor and make positive changes before getting pregnant, you’re setting yourself up for the best possible outcome.
Find the Right Obstetrician/ Gynecologist
When you’re expecting a child, finding the right doctor to care for you and your baby becomes indispensable. A qualified obstetrician or gynecologist can be critical in ensuring a safe and healthy pregnancy, labor, and delivery.
The doctor can assess your risk factors for potential complications and develop a plan to mitigate those risks. They can also provide guidance and support on prenatal and postnatal care, which can significantly impact your and your baby’s health. That’s why it’s crucial to choose an obstetrician with experience dealing with any existing or potential risk factors specific to your pregnancy.
Never Skip a Prenatal Visit
When you’re pregnant, attending all prenatal visits is important as it ensures expectant parents are informed about the health of the mother and the baby and can take any necessary steps to prevent birth injuries. Skipping prenatal visits can lead to missed opportunities to detect and manage potential complications, which could result in adverse birth outcomes.
During a prenatal visit, your healthcare provider will perform various tests and screenings to identify potential risk factors or medical conditions that could lead to birth injuries. On each visit, they’ll check your blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and weight gain and monitor the baby’s growth and position. If your healthcare provider identifies any issues, they can take appropriate steps to manage them, such as providing medication, suggesting lifestyle changes, or recommending preventive measures, such as a c-section delivery.
Eat a Healthy and Balanced Diet
During your pregnancy, it’s important to ensure you eat a healthy and balanced diet. This means including foods high in iron, protein, and calcium. Avoid consuming foods containing preservatives of high mercury levels, as it can put your pregnancy at risk of developing complications. Avoid overconsumption of fatty foods and sugar as they trigger abrupt weight gain during pregnancy and may cause health issues leading to potential birth injuries.
Moreover, it’s also a good idea to take dietary supplements high in folic Acid, particularly during the first trimester. Folic Acid is essential for neural tube development and helps prevent birth defects related to the baby’s brain and spine.
Avoid Smoking and Alcohol Consumption
Smoking during pregnancy can cause serious problems for your developing baby as it reduces the amount of oxygen they receive. Nicotine and other harmful chemicals in tobacco smoke can damage the blood vessels in the placenta, which is the organ that provides nutrients and oxygen to the baby. When the baby does not get enough oxygen and nutrients, it results in low birth weight. This can increase the risk of birth injuries such as brain damage, cerebral palsy, and other developmental problems.
Similarly, alcohol and drugs can cause birth injuries as they can negatively affect the development of your baby’s brain and other organs. Since alcohol can easily cross the placenta and enter the fetal bloodstream, it can lead to a range of conditions collectively known as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs).
As a responsible parent, you should abstain from smoking and alcohol during pregnancy to give your baby the best chance for a healthy start in life.
The risk of childbirth injury can be a major concern for any expectant parent. Taking the steps mentioned in this article can help prevent birth injuries and increase the chances of your baby being born healthy. It’s important to remember that early detection and prevention play a crucial role in promoting a safe and healthy pregnancy. So, take the necessary precautions to minimize the risk of birth injuries and enjoy a healthy pregnancy and safe childbirth.
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