The term ‘Birth trauma’ is used to describe any cuts, fractures, or other injuries sustained by a newborn baby during labor or delivery. Birth trauma is more common in developing nations, but at least 2% of live births in the U.S. are adversely affected by non-congenital physical injuries.
Birth trauma occurs more frequently among larger-than-average babies, particularly when the mother’s pelvic area may be too small to birth the baby without the assistance of hands, forceps, or vacuums to ease their passage through the birth canal. In these situations, neonatal injuries can occur if a doctor uses too much physical force while handling the baby or is not careful with birthing instruments.
Data suggests the most common conditions contributing to birth trauma include:
The most common traumatic injuries include:
Not all birth traumas are life-threatening; conversely, most heal on their own without serious medical intervention. Many can be avoided when medical professionals are proactive and properly assess birthing situations.