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How Can Birth Trauma Affect a Child’s Development?

Understanding Developmental Delays and Birth Injuries

Birth trauma, also referred to as a birth injury, can cause physical problems for a child, as well as hinder them from reaching developmental milestones as they grow older. These delays can affect cognitive abilities as well as emotional function and physical capabilities. If your child suffered a birth injury, early intervention is vital to mitigate the severity of the developmental delay. Here's what you need to know.

Birth Injuries that Cause Developmental Delays

A birth injury happens when a baby is harmed immediately before, during, or immediately after birth. Here are some common birth injuries and errors during childbirth that can lead to developmental delays:

  • Umbilical cord issues
  • Delayed emergency C-section
  • Using excessive force when delivering a baby
  • Improper use of forceps or vacuum extraction devices
  • Fetal distress
  • Prolonged labor
  • Failure to recognize placenta problems
  • Ruptured uterus
  • Perinatal asphyxia (lack of blood flow or oxygen to the fetus)

Common Developmental Delays from Birth Injuries

Birth trauma can cause infant brain damage and other neurological complications, which often leads to missed milestones. A child who has suffered a birth injury may have complications involving the following types of developmental delays:

Cognitive Developmental Delays

Cognitive delays can interfere with a child's learning abilities, and they may have difficulty communicating as they grow older. Some warning signs of cognitive delays are:

  • Not following simple instructions
  • Trouble thinking logically
  • Lack of curiosity
  • Short attention span
  • Sitting, walking, or crawling later than other children

Social and Emotional Developmental Delays

Social and emotional skills are vital to relating to others by expressing and controlling emotions. This can mean a smile or cooing from a baby to a preschool child asking for help. Some warning signs of social and emotional developmental delays are:

  • A limited range of emotions
  • Extreme behaviors such as aggressiveness, shyness, or sadness
  • Withdrawn and not active
  • Easily distracted or trouble focusing
  • Non-responsive to others

Speech and Language Delays

Using speech and language is how we communicate. Babies may coo and babble, and children may ask questions or respond to comments. Some warning signs of speech and language delays in infants babies and toddlers are:

  • Lack of response to loud noises.
  • Not babbling or making imitation sounds.
  • Not being able to use single words such as "mama" or "dada."
  • In children over 2, they may have the inability to speak at least 15 words or unable to imitate speech.

Did Your Baby Suffer a Birth Injury? We are Here For You.

When you learn your baby has suffered a birth injury, it can be shocking news. Birth injuries are preventable. When medical professionals fail to perform the standard duty of care that results in a birth injury, we'll be in your corner to help you hold the negligent parties accountable for their actions.

At Bandas Law Firm, P.C., we understand the emotional challenges and financial burdens families face when caring for a baby with a birth injury. Know that you are not alone. We are here to guide you through every step and give you the support you need, so you can rest assured knowing your child's future care and medical needs are covered.

Contact us today at (505) 393-6303 to learn how we can assist you.